The leaning minaret of the al-Nuri mosque has been destroyed.
The leaning minaret of the al-Nuri mosque has been destroyed. Jerome Delay

IS destroys key Iraqi mosque

ISLAMIC State militants have blown up the Grand al-Nuri Mosque of Mosul and its leaning minaret, an Iraqi military statement says.

The world famous mosque was destroyed as the Iraqi military approached the mosque - the location where IS declared its "caliphate”.

Iraqi forces were within 50m of the mosque when IS "committed another historical crime” by blowing it up, General Abdulamir Yarallah said.

IS has denied involvement, blaming US forces that are providing air and ground support for Iraqi forces, The Independent reports.

But IS had tried to destroy it when it took the city in 2014 and was stopped by locals who formed a human chain saying they would have to kill them.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed himself "caliph” - ruler of all Muslims - from the lectern in the medieval mosque in July 2014.

The black flag of the terror group has flown from atop the famous minaret there since June 2014.

- News Corp



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