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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Isis destroys thousands of books and manuscripts in Mosul libraries

Shocked staff fear further damage and ‘cultural cleansing’ under the militants’ rule
Isis in Mosul
Isis fighters parade in a commandeered Iraqi armoured vehicle down a main road in Mosul in June 2014. Photograph: AP
Reports this week that Mosul’s central library has been ransacked by Isis and 100,000 books and manuscripts burned has cast an international spotlight on a new wave of destruction that has been raging through the northern Iraqi city since last summer.
Earlier this month the head of the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) voiced alarm over “one of the most devastating acts of destruction of library collections in human history.” Director general Irina Bokova said the destruction involved museums, libraries and universities across Mosul.
She added: “This destruction marks a new phase in the cultural cleansing perpetrated in regions controlled by armed extremists in Iraq. It adds to the systematic destruction of heritage and the persecution of minorities that seeks to wipe out the cultural diversity that is the soul of the Iraqi people.”

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