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ISIS Video Shows Apparent Destruction of Nimrud Archaeological Site

Video Purports to Show ISIS Militants Razing Ancient City 0:51

ISIS released a video Sunday that purportedly shows the terrorist group destroying the ancient Nimrud archaeological site near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

Iraq's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced in early March that ISIS had "bulldozed" Nimrud, and the video appears to show militants breaking down walls with sledgehammers, knocking over artifacts and blowing up buildings.

Nimrud, once a capital of the Assyrian empire, was founded more than 3,300 years ago, according to the director of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Irina Bokova. "Its frescos and works are celebrated around the world and revered in literature and sacred texts," she said in a statement condemning the destruction of the site.

Flashpoint Intelligence, a global security firm and NBC News consultant, could not confirm that the site being destroyed in the video is in fact Nimrud, but it said "online chatter does seem to corroborate the claims, and the rest of the video does follow the group's pattern of destroying 'idols,' as they call it."

ISIS has recently attacked archaeological sites and artifacts as part of a campaign to destroy relics that they consider heretical.

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— Elisha Fieldstadt