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To gain profits, Islamic State sets up ‘ministry of antiquities’ for priceless artefacts

The dreaded militant group Islamic State or ISIS has established a ‘ministry of antiquities’ so that they can get as much profit as they can from looting priceless artefacts, as per a report in an international Daily.

These artefacts are the ones that they have looted from across the territory that they control.

According to a report in ‘The Telegraph’, the artefacts looted by the militant group have raised tens of millions of dollars for the ISIS.

The ISIS pillage and smuggle the treasures that they loot. In Iraq, the militant group have reportedly desecrated and looted the Assyrian remains at Mosul, Nimrud and Hatra.

And earlier this month the ISIS captured the Roman city of Palmyra in Syria.

It is said that various ‘antiquities ministries’ have been established across the strongholds of the militant group. Now, they have been drawn together to form part of a ‘Ministry for Precious Resources’, the Daily wrote.

Also, as per the Daily it had obtained ISIS-stamped licences, issued by the ‘antiquities ministries’ in the Syrian cities of Aleppo and Deir Ezzor.

These licences have apparently give permission to excavate archaeological materials, in return for money.

The ISIS have reportedly developed a network of middlemen for the trade of the artefacts.

In one of the territory controlled by the militant group, around the ancient Mesopotamian city of Mari, founded in 300 BC, satellite imagery have apparently shown more than 1,300 excavation pits that have been dug in recent months.

Meanwhile, the jihadist group on Saturday demolished a prison in the Syrian city of Palmyra, a monitor said, eliminating what was for decades one of the country’s most feared detention centres.

The jail was “largely destroyed after IS planted explosives inside and around it”, 10 days after the jihadists seized Palmyra from regime forces, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

IS supporters posted pictures on Twitter purporting to show the infamous prison being blown up.

The prison was the site of a massacre in 1980 in which hundreds of inmates were killed.

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