Libya fears its treasures are now in jihadist sights

Libyan antiquities officials looked on with horror at Internet video footage that showed Islamist extremists wielding sledgehammers and power tools to grind ancient Iraqi treasures into dust. They fear the Islamic State group jihadist movement's growing influence means the fate that befell these priceless Assyrian and Akkadian artefacts now awaits their own rich heritage dating back millennia. Footage of the cultural atrocity showed militants smashing exhibits at the museum in Mosul, Iraq's second city and the main IS stronghold since its capture in a lighting June offensive last year. The jihadists say the antiquities are anti-Islamic, promote paganism and must therefore be destroyed. Libya, another country rich in archaeological heritage, has been in turmoil since the 2011 overthrow of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in a NATO-backed uprising.

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