Iraq’s historic sites threatened by military campsFebruary 19th, 2008 - 7:46 pm ICT by admin
Baghdad, Feb 19 (DPA) An Iraqi minister criticised US-led multinational troops for continuing to set up military camps on historic sites in Iraqi cities, a newspaper reported Tuesday. “Foreign military troops have been taken out of a position in Babylon but their presence in it and other sites in Samarra and Nasiriyah has caused big damages,” the Minister of Antiquities and Tourism Mohammed Abbas told the al-Mada newspaper.
The ministry has made a few appeals for clearing the sites of all troops.
“Setting up camps on those sites involves building barriers, digging bunkers, eroding the ground and allowing heavy military vehicles in, let alone the illegal presence of military troops there,” the minister added.
Some 4,000 out of 15,000 antiquities, which had been stolen from the national museum in Baghdad in the wake of the US-led war in 2003, have been restituated to Iraq, according to Abbas.
Efforts are continuing, said the minister, to return more of the antiquities that had been smuggled by specialized gangs out of Iraq via neighbouring countries.
Tags: al mada newspaper, antiquities, babylon, baghdad, damages, gangs, iraq, iraqi cities, iraqi minister, military camps, military troops, military vehicles, mohammed abbas, nasiriyah, neighbouring countries, presence, samarra, tourism