Militant Sunni Islamists have begun destroying historic statues in northern Iraq where they have taken control.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is expanding areas it controls by seizing towns near the borders with Syria and Jordan one after another.
The AP news agency released footage on Monday showing militants removing statues of cultural icons, such as a poet and a musician, in Mosul where they took control about 2 weeks ago. They are also shown loading the statues on a truck using heavy machinery.
The move is seen as evidence that the ISIL has implemented an extreme interpretation of Muslim teachings that bans idol worship.
The AFP news agency says that the group has declared it will introduce a 16-point law that contains measures such as one stipulating that women must wear non-revealing clothes.
Government forces are preparing a large-scale military operation against major towns seized by the extremists.
Jun. 24, 2014 - Updated 04:31 UTC