Cairo: Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's leading authority, expressed outrage today at the bulldozing of the ancient city of Nimrud in Iraq by the Islamic State group saying the jihadists must be "eradicated".
"What the terrorist organisation Daesh is doing by destroying monuments in the territory it controls in Iraq, Syria and Libya... Is a major crime against the entire world," Al-Azhar said using the Arabic acronym for IS.
"What Daesh is doing is a war crime that history would never forget," it said, adding that destruction of monuments was forbidden under the Islamic law sharia.
Al-Azhar also urged "everyone concerned in the countries where Daesh and other extremist groups exist, to cooperate and eradicate them and save our Arabic and Islamic nations from their evils".
IS, which has captured swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, began bulldozing the ruins of Nimrud yesterday, in what the UN termed a "war crime".
Last month IS fighters destroyed statues and ancient artefacts with sledgehammers and torched the city's library.
Nimrud was founded in the 13th century BC and was considered the jewel of the Assyrian era.