MOSSOUL (Iraq – Iraqis on Sunday in Mosul laid the foundation stone for the reconstruction of the iconic Al-Nouri Mosque and its minaret leaning, destroyed in the fighting against the self-proclaimed terrorist group "Islamic State" (IS / Daesh) in that city of northern Iraq.
Built in the twelfth century, the mosque and its minaret – called by the inhabitants of Mosul "the hunchback" (Al-Hadba) – had been ravaged in June 2017, the Iraqi army accusing the IS of having placed explosives in these jewels of the old city.
ISIS, which has destroyed many historic sites in Iraq and Syria, had blamed an international airstrike that it said had been carried out by the international coalition. Mosul came under the control of the Iraqi government in July 2017 after a very violent battle.
On Sunday, dozens of political and religious leaders as well as representatives of the United Nations and European Union countries gathered in the square on which the mosque was located to witness the laying of the first stone. . It was a religious leader, Abu Bakr Kenaan, who laid the stone at a ceremony.
"This stone, the first for the reconstruction and restoration of the Al-Hadba minaret and the Al-Nouri Grand Mosque, was laid on December 16, 2018", it is written. According to Kenaan, the remains of the minaret will be preserved as well as other parts of the building, and a museum will be built next to the reconstructed mosque to recall its history.
The al-Nouri mosque is named after Noureddine al-Zinki, the unifier of Syria who also reigned over Mosul and ordered its construction in 1172. It was destroyed and rebuilt in 1942 as part of a renovation project.