ISIL Takfiri militants have demolished the holy shrine of Prophet Yunus in a gruesome act of terrorism in the Iraqi city of Mosul.
The ISIL militants “completely destroyed the shrine of Nabi Yunus after telling local families to stay away and closing the roads to a distance of 500 meters from the shrine,” AFP quoted an official at the Sunni endowment, which manages Sunni religious affairs in Iraq, as saying on Thursday.
The shrine of Prophet Yunus is one of the most well-known shrines in Iraq’s northern city. The prophet is known as Yunus in the holy Quran and as Jonah in the Bible.
The endowment official further noted that the Takfiri militants have already destroyed or damaged 30 shrines, as well as 15 Shia religious sites and mosques in and around the Iraqi city.
He listed the shrines of Yahya Ibn al-Qassem, Aoun al-Din and Prophet Daniel as the most important Muslim shrines destroyed or damaged by the ISIL.
“But the worst destruction was of Nabi Yunus, which has been turned to dust,” the official said.
“They first stopped people from praying in it, then fixed explosive charges around and inside it and then blew it up in front of a large gathering of people,” AFP quoted a witness who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Takfiri militants have demolished several holy shrines and mosques belonging to Shia and Sunni Muslims in the militancy-riddled regions of Nineveh Province.
The ISIL and its associated militant groups are blamed for numerous sacrilegious acts. The terrorist groups have links with Saudi intelligence and are believed to be indirectly supported by the Israeli regime.
The crisis in Iraq escalated after the ISIL terrorists took control of Mosul in a lightning advance on June 10, which was followed by the fall of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers (87 miles) northwest of the capital.
The Iraqi army, backed by tribal forces and volunteers, has been engaged in heavy fighting with the militants on different fronts and has so far been able to push back militants in several areas, including in Tikrit.