The Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, continues its destruction of Iraq’s historic city Mosul. The radical jihadists blew up a shrine to Jonah, the biblical prophet, and Yunus in the Koran.
“Islamic State completely destroyed the shrine of Nabi Yunus after telling local families to stay away and closing the roads to a distance of 500 metres from the shrine,” an official with the Sunni endowment told the AFP.
The terrorist group has destroyed over 30 shrines around Mosul and 15 husseiniyas, which are Shi’ite places of worship, and mosques. ISIS claims to be a part of the Sunni sect. ISIS also destroyed the Imam Yahya Ibn al-Qassem, Aoun al-Din, and Nabi Danial. But the official said Nabi Yunus suffered the most damage.
“They first stopped people from praying in it, they fixed explosive charges around and inside it, and then blew it up in front of a large gathering of people,” said one witness.
The shrine was built in the eighth century BC. Worshippers believe that the prophet Jonah, most famous for surviving being swallowed by a whale in the Biblical legend, is buried there. Saddam Hussein renovated the shrine, and it remained a popular site for pilgrims.
ISIS drove out Mosul’s Christian population, thus ending a Muslim-Christian community that spanned 2,000 years. The Christians were told to convert to Islam, pay a protection tax, or die.