In their ongoing rampage against all things Christian, Islamic State jihadists have blown up the historic “Clock Church” in the center of Mosul, one of the most recognizable features of the city which could be seen from miles around.
The distinctive bell tower with the clock had been given to Iraqi Christians by the Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III. The church, historically known as the “Church of the Miraculous Madonna,” had been under the care of the Dominican Fathers until being devastated Monday morning with the use of explosives.
The Church was inaugurated on August 4, 1873, and the clock tower was added later when Empress Eugenie donated it in appreciation for efforts made by the Dominican Fathers during a typhoid epidemic that started in 1879. The clock tower was completed in 1882.
Islamic State forces have been under pressure in Mosul, with Kurdish forces to the north and Iraqi government and Shia militia forces to the south threatening to retake it.