IS vows to blow up Egypt's pyramids and sphinx

IS vows to blow up Egypt's pyramids and sphinx

The Islamic State group has threatened to destroy Egypt's pyramids, in a video showing the demolition of the ancient Nabu temple in Iraq.

2 min read
09 June, 2016
IS considers pre-Islamic monuments and artifacts "idols" [Getty]

The Islamic State group [IS] has pledged to blow up Egypt's Giza Pyramids after releasing footage of the destruction of an ancient Assyrian temple in Iraq.

In the latest IS propaganda piece released this week, the group threatens to destroy the pyramids in the final scenes of the ten-minute video that shows demolition of the 2,800-year-old Nabu temple.

"It is sad that we see some Muslims are extremely proud of these ancient monuments that were built by infidels and even consider them part of their history," IS militant, Abu Nasser al-Ansari, said outside the destroyed Nabu temple.

"Early Muslim leaders wanted to destroy the pyramids but were not able to. We now have the capabilities to blow up the pyramids and sphinx."

The militant added that the last remaining wonder of the ancient world was the "work of the devil" and a symbol of "moral degeneracy".

Last June, armed assailants shot dead two police officers at the entrance of the pyramids - no militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.

The UN said on Wednesday that Satellite images confirm the destruction of the ancient Nabu temple.

      The UN has said IS have confirmed the destruction at Nabu [Twitter]

The UN training and research agency UNITAR said it had analysed satellite images collected on June 3 over the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud in northern Iraq.

"Compared to imagery collected 12 January 2016, we observe extensive damage to the main entrance of what is known as Nabu Temple," the agency said, providing the two sets of satellite images.

Nimrud, one of the jewels of the Assyrian era, was founded in the 13th century BC and lies on the Tigris River around 30 kilometres south-east of Mosul, Iraq's second city and the IS group's main hub in the country.

In IS' extreme interpretation of Islam, statues, idols and shrines amount to recognising objects of worship other than God and must be destroyed.

The militants have systematically destroyed heritage sites in areas they control, including much of Syria's ancient city of Palmyra before they were chased out by Syrian regime troops in March.