After thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee the embattled city of Mosul in the last week, video emerged on Thursday of Islamic State militants destroying the Tomb of Jonah in a matter of seconds. According to officials and residents in Mosul, where the holy site also known as the Mosque of the Prophet Yunus (Jonah) is located, the demolition took place on Thursday.
Residents had been banned from entering the mosque, where the biblical prophet featured in the Book of Jonah and known for being swallowed by a whale is believed to be buried.
After barring worshippers from entering, militants reportedly spent an hour wiring and placing explosives throughout the tomb. The video shows the subsequent detonation as the building quickly turns into an massive cloud of dust and debris.
Since their takeover northern Iraq in June and subsequent establishment of a new caliphate in the region spanning across the border into Syria, militants from the Islamic State — previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — have destroyed Shiite mosques and taken over Christian homes and churches in the area. On July 18, Mosul’s Christians were told they had to exit the city by the next day, a crackdown that forced most of the remaining Christian population to flee further north.
In the Kurdish city of Erbil on Thursday, hundreds of people staged protests against the Islamic State for forcing the Mosul’s Christians to leave their homes. Video shows a crowd of demonstrators marching through the streets and carrying signs. The protestors also demonstrated at the city’s United Nations offices, demanding protection.
(Credit: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)
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Photo via Iraqi News