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UNESCO head wants emergency Security Council meeting on Iraq

February 26, 2015

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The head of the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO says she is “deeply shocked” at footage showing Islamic State group militants using sledgehammers to destroy Iraqi artifacts, and she has asked the U.N. Security Council president for an emergency meeting on the protection of Iraq’s cultural heritage.

The statement by Irina Bokova came shortly after the militants released a video Thursday of the destruction in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul, with the group describing the relics as idols that must be removed.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric calls the destruction at the Mosul Museum “reprehensible and criminal,” saying it robs people of their past.

Bokova says the smashing violates a council resolution protecting cultural objects from conflict zones in Iraq and Syria.

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