Iraqi forces battling the Islamic State group in Mosul have retaken an area where the jihadists in 2014 leveled a shrine revered as the tomb of the biblical Jonah, officials said.
“We retook control of Nabi Yunus area… raised the Iraqi flag above the tomb,” Sabah al-Noman, spokesman for the Counter-Terrorism Service spearheading the Mosul offensive, tells AFP.
He says two other neighborhoods in eastern Mosul were also retaken from IS on Monday.
The Nabi Yunus shrine — which was built on the reputed burial site of a prophet known in the Quran as Yunus and in the Bible as Jonah — was a popular pilgrimage site.
In July 2014, weeks after overrunning Mosul and much of Iraq’s Sunni Arab heartland, IS militants rigged the shrine and blew it up, sparking global outrage.