The Guardian and CNN are reporting that on Thursday Islamic militants destroyed the tomb of Jonah, the Biblical prophet who scriptures say was swallowed by a whale.
Jonah appears as an important messenger of God in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
The Tomb of Jonah, according to Muslim tradition
The revered shrine, located in the Iraqi city of Mosul, is said to be the burial place of the 8th Century B.C. prophet, according to Muslim tradition. The Mosul sanctuary is located near the ancient Nineveh ruins, the city that Jonah was commanded by God to go prophesy against "their great wickedness." Other traditions put the burial place of Jonah in different locations. According to the Jewish tradition, Jonah's burial place is in the same village where he was born, Gath-hepher in Israel. Another Muslim tradition claims that the burial place is located in Halhul, a Palestinian West Bank Town where a mosque called Nebi Yunes (Yunus is the Arabic translation of the name Jonah) and a sanctuary were built.
The ancient city of Nineveh, located in present-day Mosul, is the site of the shrine of Yunus (Jonah).
Reports indicate that the religious structure was evacuated prior to detonation.
Locals speaking on the condition of anonymity reportedly said that the structure was targeted because it had become "a place for apostasy, not prayer."
As part of a campaign to destroy shrines deemed un-Islamic by ISIS standards, the militant group has destroyed several holy sites and places of worship for Sunnis and Shiites alike.
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