The city on the Euphrates River is about 85 kilometers south of the capital Baghdad and once was a main tourist attraction before Iraq suffered one war after another in the past four decades.
France’s Notre Dame Cathedral was severely damaged by a huge fire that took 400 firefighters to put out. Here we look at other heritage sites that have been damaged or destroyed.
Amad al Faqi al Mahdi was jailed last September for nine years after pleading guilty to war crimes for involvement in the destruction of 10 mausoleums and religious sites in Mali.
Daesh has claimed responsibility for the attack, which was carried out by gunmen on a police checkpoint several hundred metres from the church entrance.
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