300-year-old Iraq mosque minaret demolished for road expansion

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Anger has spread across Iraq after the 300-year-old minaret of Al-Saraji Mosque in the southern city of Basra was demolished.

The demolition was conducted by the Sunni Endowment Office in Basra, with authorization from the Basra government.

Despite being recognized as a heritage site by the Ministry of Culture, the minaret and mosque dating back to 1727 AD, were demolished in order to widen the road.

Many officials were surprised by the sudden demolition, with some claiming they were not informed in advance. The governor of Basra, Asaad Al-Eidani, took to Facebook and wrote, “The goal of demolishing the Al-Saraji Mosque is to complete the expansion of Abi Al-Khasib Road.”

Al-Eidani said a new mosque would be built at the site and the demolition was carried out following ‘complaints of traffic congestion’ around the mosque.

Taking to Facebook on Friday, Iraqi Minister of Culture Ahmed Fadak Al Badrani threatened legal action against Basra authorities.

Al Badrani added, “We will take legal action against any administrative or personal overreach that works to cause harm, especially the demolition of the Al-Saraji mosque and its minaret.”

“We demand the Sunni and Shiite parties to intervene and stand firmly and punish their members in case they are allowed to overtake or falsify historical facts,” the minister added. (Agencies)

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