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Egyptian Islamic authority downplays IS threat to destroy pyramids

The militant group threatened to destroy the Giza pyramids in a video that appears to show militants blowing up an ancient temple in Iraq

Ahram Online , Friday 10 Jun 2016
Pyramids
Still image from an undated video released by IS in which the militant group threatened to destroy the Great Pyramids of Giza
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Dar Al-Ifta, the Egyptian state body that issues Islamic edicts, has shrugged off recent threats by the Islamic State militant group to destroy the Giza pyramids, saying the remarks are "unrealistic."

The IS group made the threat in a video it released purporting to show fighters blowing up a 2,500-year-old temple in Iraq. The final scene in the ten-minute video shows one of the pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx while a militant pledges to blow up "ancient sites built by the infidels".

Earlier in the video, a fanatic vowed to demolish the temple of Nabu in the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud in northern Iraq before a massive explosion is seen tearing the building apart.

A sub-body of Dar Al-Ifta that monitors jihadist and extremist edicts said Friday that the threats by the extermists are "unrealistic" given that the militant group only managed to raze monumnets and historic sites in cities which it seized.

"This is unlikely in Egypt in light of a strong state and deterrent institutions," the Islamic authority said in a statement.

It added that such warnings are aimed to "hit tourism" amid what it said is a series of successful security blows that led to a "decline in terrorist attacks" in Egypt.

It said that the threats mirror the success of the country's security forces to "prevent the group from targeting vital sites or carry out attacks against tourism" in Egypt, forcing its fighters to resort to warnings.

Earlier this year, a global outcry was sparked by pictures of ancient monuments in the Syrian city of Palmyra that had been destroyed by IS extremists after the group took control of the city in May 2015.

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