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.