An undated screen grab from video released
by Islamic State reportedly shows a member
destroying parts of a frieze at the ancient
Iraqi town of Nimrud, southeast of Mosul.
(European Pressphoto Agency)
Baghdad – Iraqi security forces foiled on
Wednesday a plot by Islamic State (IS)
militants to detonate an ancient citadel in
Tal Afar district in Nineveh, a security
official was quoted as saying.
“A force from the Nineveh Operation
Command found four barrels filled with the
highly explosive C4 material, 10 explosive
belts and 100 mortar shells placed under Tal
Afar Citadel in Nineveh,” Yehia Rasool, a
spokesman for the Security Media Center,
told Alforat News.
“Three other explosive barrels, two
rockets and 11 landmines were also found on
site,” Rasool said, adding that the
explosives were planned to be used by IS
militants for detonating the ancient
Tal Afar Citadel is believed to be built
by the Ottoman Empire, although it contains
remains dating back to the Assyrian period.
Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the
citadel housed the mayoral, municipal and
police headquarters of Tal Afar. It was used
as a base by American forces in the Battle
of Tal Afar in 2005.
After falling to the militant Islamic
State group in June 2014, the citadel was
used as a prison for women and girls who
were to be forcibly married to ISIL members.
In December 2014, the IS group blew up
the city’s northern and western walls,
causing extensive damage. The militants also
excavated some of the ruins within the
citadel, probably to look for antiquities
which they could sell. UNESCO
Director-General Irina Bokova.