Destruction of al-Nuri mosque ‘shows IS defeated’: Iraqi PM

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says the destruction of an ancient mosque in the city of Mosul is an official declaration of defeat by so-called Islamic State.

Iraqi forces say IS blew up the Great Mosque of al-Nuri and its famous leaning minaret as jihadists battled to stop advancing pro-government troops. IS said American aircraft had destroyed the complex, a claim denied by the US.

The mosque, which was more than 800 years old, was where in July 2014 IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi commanded allegiance in his first and only public appearance following IS’ declaration days earlier of a caliphate. The mosque’s destruction has brought widespread condemnation.

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