Islamic State (IS) militants have begun to bulldoze the ruins of the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, Iraqi government officials said today (March 6, 2015), according to the BBC website.
The ministry of tourism says IS used heavy machinery to destroy the site -- one of the most celebrated jewels of Iraq's archaeological heritage. Nimrud -- which was founded by Assyrians in the 13th century BC -- lies about 18 miles southeast of Mosul.
IS claims that ancient shrines and statues are "false idols" that must be smashed.
Last week, IS released a video showing militants with sledgehammers destroying historic artifacts in a museum in Mosul. That attack was condemned by the United Nations as a war crime.