UN uncovers ISIS explosives in Iraqi mosque

The United Nations has revealed that during restoration efforts at Mosul’s historic Al-Nuri mosque, five bombs were discovered in a wall. These explosives were planted years ago by the Islamic State group. The bombs, which were intended to cause significant destruction, were found in the southern wall of the prayer hall by a UNESCO team working on site.

UNESCO, the UN’s cultural agency, reported that the Iraqi armed forces promptly secured the area, and the situation is now under control. One bomb has been removed, but the remaining four, which are interconnected, will be cleared in the coming days. The explosives were concealed within a specially rebuilt wall, making them undetectable when Iraqi forces initially cleared the site in 2020.

The Al-Nuri mosque, along with its 12th-century leaning minaret, was destroyed during the battle to reclaim Mosul from ISIS, which had occupied the city for three years. UNESCO has been working on restoring the site and other historical structures in the city. The mosque is notably remembered as the location where ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi declared the establishment of the group’s “caliphate” in 2014.

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