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Iraq begins rebuilding iconic Mosul mosque

The landmark al-Nuri mosque in the old city of Mosul in northern Iraq.
The destroyed al-Nuri mosque in Mosul. Photo: Zaid al-Obeidi/AFP/Getty Images

Religious leaders in Iraq have laid the cornerstone to begin rebuilding the 12th-century Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, which was destroyed by ISIS militants last year as U.S.-backed Iraqi forces recaptured the city in a fierce battle, per the AP.

Why it matters: In 2014, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made a speech declaring a caliphate in the mosque in 2014. The rebuilding is expected to take five years and will be backed by a $50.4 million donation from the United Arab Emirates.

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