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Iraqi forces retake ancient Assyrian village of Nimrud, Iraqi military says

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Iraqi forces retake ancient Assyrian village of Nimrud, Iraqi military says

Relief of a human-headed winged lion in Ashurnasirpal II's palace in Nimrud in northern Iraq.

For centuries, the massive Assyrian city in Northern Iraq lay buried beneath the sands of time, forgotten by history.

Archeologists first began excavating Nimrud -- built nearly 3,000 years ago -- in the 1840s. In the decades that followed, they unearthed priceless treasures from the city, including palaces adorned with unique frescoes and giant sculptures, that offered a window into Iraq's glorious past.

Last year, ISIS blew up the ancient walled city.

The terror group released disturbing footage of the destruction. Militants with electric drills and sledgehammers smashed statues and tore holes in the walls. Bulldozers razed structures to the ground. The last frame of the video captures a massive explosion and a cloud of smoke and dust.

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, described the deliberate destruction of Nimrud as a "war crime."

On Sunday, Iraqi forces liberated the village of Nimrud and the site of the ruins as part of the ongoing battle for Mosul, ISIS' last major stronghold in Iraq, according to Col. Mohammed Ibrahim, a spokesman for Iraq's Joint operations command.

source: CNN

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