Mosul (AsiaNews) - Islamic State (IS) fighters yesterday blew up part of the Victory Convent, which belonged to the order of the Chaldean Sisters of the Sacred Heart, in Mosul's suburb of Alaraby, northern Iraq. The complex, which is located in front of the St Georgis Monastery, suffered major damages.
Reports about the attack against another Christian symbol in Iraq's second largest city came from Ankawa News, which posted a brief video showing the demolition with plumes of thick black smoke.
Local sources said the monastery was used as a base for cars, as well as lodging for IS fighters and other jihadists. Yesterday came the decision to blow up the structure with powerful explosive charges in and under its walls.
It seems that the demolition, which took place in two phases, stems from the extremists' desire to destroy the church and the cross that towered over the building.
Only materials damages are reported with no casualties or injuries as a result of the explosion.
IS fighters warned residents of the impending explosion, so that they could keep their windows open to prevent blast-related damage to homes.
The Iraqi government built the convent in 1984. The nuns who lived in the place provided help to elderly women and people with special needs.
The St Georgis Monastery is still standing without any damages and reports about its destruction were inaccurate.
Mosul, Iraq's second most important city, was the first major centre in the country to fall into the hands of IS forces.
Chaldean Archbishop Emil Shimoun Nona was the first to sound the alarm about the danger posed by the Islamist advance after their conquest of Mosul - when about half a million people, Muslims and Christians, fled in early June - and the establishment of a caliphate and the imposition of Sharia.