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UNESCO Chief Condemns 'Barbaric' Destruction Of Iraqi Heritage Sites

The chief of the UN's cultural agency, UNESCO, has condemned the "barbaric" destruction of Iraq's cultural heritage by extremist groups.

Irina Bokova, speaking during a visit to Baghdad on November 2, said Iraq has "thousands of temples, of buildings, of archaeological sites, of objects, that represent a treasure for [all] humanity."

But she warned that there must be swift action to stop the "appalling" actions of extremists from destroying Iraq's rich heritage.

Bokova has previously described the actions of militant groups as "cultural cleansing.”

The Islamic State militant group, which has seized parts of Iraq and Syria, has destroyed numerous historical sites it considers heretical.

The Sunni extremist group has destroyed Shi’ite shrines and churches in Mosul, Tikrit, and other parts of Iraq.

Based on reporting by AFP and Al-Akhbar