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24 looted antiquities recovered in Mosul house raid: police

By Rudaw 21/10/2018
24 looted antiquities recovered in Mosul house raid: police
Rare antiquities, weapons, and prohibited items recovered from a house raid in west Mosul. Photo: Nineveh Police Command / Facebook
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Nineveh Police Command has recovered 24 antiquities and a cache of weaponry during a raid on a property in west Mosul. 

According to a statement from the spokesperson for Iraq’s Ministry of Interior, al-Karama police directorate captured a suspect, confiscated 12 antiquities, and recovered a further 12 historical books on Christianity.

Ten grenades, a walkie-talkie, banknotes, a fake stamp, and a fake governmental letter were also found buried in the garden.

Several police raids in recent months have recovered rare antiquities, which are regularly looted and traded on the black market. The proceeds have been used to fund terrorism. 

ISIS destroyed many heritage sites, antiquities, and other historical buildings when it swept northern Iraq in the summer of 2014. The Old City of Mosul, home to several ancient buildings, was leveled in fighting last year. 

ISIS video shows its members smashing ancient Iraq artifacts. AP photo.

Iraq and the Kurdistan Region are home to some of the world’s richest archaeological sites. Their museums boast extensive collections of ancient artifacts dating back thousands of years from the Akkadian, Assyrian, Hellenistic, and Islamic periods. Scientists have even uncovered bones and cave paintings from pre-history. 

The extremist brand of Islam practiced by ISIS demands many of these objects, particularly those featuring human or animal faces, must be destroyed. The destruction of such antiquities is considered a war crime under international law. 

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