A video has emerged online showing Islamic State militants smashing ancient artefacts to pieces in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

The five-minute video, which cannot be verified, appears to show militants desecrating several statues and carvings from the 7th century as part of the Islamist group’s attempt to destroy everything it deems to be heretic.

The militants used sledge hammers and drills to destroy the priceless antiquities, which will likely be impossible to reconstruct.

The group’s actions in Mosul are part of a wider campaign, where they have destroyed artefacts and sites from Christian, Muslim, and other traditions that contradict their world view. Previous videos have shown the group blowing up mosques, churches, and ancient shrines as they try to force their beliefs on others by destroying many of the historical artefacts in the region, which is the birthplace of the Abrahamic religions.

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