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Iraqi officials investigating reports that IS destroying ancient archaeological site of Hatra

  • FILE - In this  July 27, 2005 file photo, a temple to the Shamash sun god still stands over 1,750 years after the Sassanian empire razed the Mesopotamian city of Hatra, 320 kilometers (200 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq. Iraq's minister of tourism and antiquities told The Associated Press, Saturday, March 7, 2015, that the government is investigating reports that the ancient archaeological site of Hatra in northwestern Iraq is being demolished by militants from the Islamic State group. The group has already looted artifacts from Nimrud, another ancient archaeological site, on Friday and bulldozed it in a move UNESCO deemed "a war crime." (AP Photo/Antonio Castaneda, File)

    FILE - In this July 27, 2005 file photo, a temple to the Shamash sun god still stands over 1,750 years after the Sassanian empire razed the Mesopotamian city of Hatra, 320 kilometers (200 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq. Iraq's minister of tourism and antiquities told The Associated Press, Saturday, March 7, 2015, that the government is investigating reports that the ancient archaeological site of Hatra in northwestern Iraq is being demolished by militants from the Islamic State group. The group has already looted artifacts from Nimrud, another ancient archaeological site, on Friday and bulldozed it in a move UNESCO deemed "a war crime." (AP Photo/Antonio Castaneda, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this July 27, 2005 file photo, the face of a woman stares down at visitors in the Hatra ruins, 320 kilometers (200 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq. Iraq's minister of tourism and antiquities told The Associated Press, Saturday, March 7, 2015, that the government is investigating reports that the ancient archaeological site of Hatra in northwestern Iraq is being demolished by militants from the Islamic State group. The group has already looted artifacts from Nimrud, another ancient archaeological site, on Friday and bulldozed it in a move UNESCO deemed "a war crime." (AP Photo/Antonio Castaneda)

    FILE - In this July 27, 2005 file photo, the face of a woman stares down at visitors in the Hatra ruins, 320 kilometers (200 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq. Iraq's minister of tourism and antiquities told The Associated Press, Saturday, March 7, 2015, that the government is investigating reports that the ancient archaeological site of Hatra in northwestern Iraq is being demolished by militants from the Islamic State group. The group has already looted artifacts from Nimrud, another ancient archaeological site, on Friday and bulldozed it in a move UNESCO deemed "a war crime." (AP Photo/Antonio Castaneda)  (The Associated Press)

Iraq's minister of tourism and antiquities says the government is investigating reports that the ancient archaeological site of Hatra in northwestern Iraq is being demolished by militants from the Islamic State group.

Adel Shirshab told The Associated Press that there are concerns the militants are removing artifacts from the UNESCO world heritage site, located 110 kilometers (68 miles) southwest of the city of Mosul, and that they were about to demolish the site.

The group has already looted artifacts from Nimrud, another ancient archaeological site, on Friday and bulldozed it in a move UNESCO deemed "a war crime."

Saeed Mamuzini, a Kurdish official from Mosul, told the AP that the militants had begun carrying away artifacts from Hatra as early as Thursday and on Saturday, began to demolish the site.