An official said the tourism and antiquities ministry had received reports from its employees in Mosul, which is controlled by the radical Islamist group, that the site at Hatra had been demolished.
A nearby resident said he heard a powerful explosion early on Saturday and that neighbors had reported that ISIS militants had destroyed some of the larger buildings in Hatra and were bulldozing other parts.
The destruction follows a similar incident this week when ISIS fighters bulldozed the ancient Assyrian archaeological site of Nimrud, south of Mosul. Some of the works had survived for more than 1,500 years.
UNESCO, the United Nations cultural agency, condemned the action as “cultural cleansing” and said they amounted to war crimes.
A week ago ISIS militants released a video showing them smashing statues and carvings in Mosul’s museum, which housed Assyrian and Hellenistic artifacts dating back 3,000 years.
Hatra dates back 2,000 years to the Seleucid empire, which controlled a large part of the ancient world conquered by Alexander the Great. It is famous for its striking pillared temple at the center of a sprawling archaeological site.
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