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The destruction of Ummayed Mosque

The 11th-century minaret of a famed mosque that towered over Aleppo's old quarter was destroyed yesterday as fighting raged in the ancient Syrian city.

President Bashar Assad's government and the rebels trying to overthrow him accused each other of being to blame for the destruction to the Umayyad Mosque, a UNESCO world heritage site and centerpiece of Aleppo's walled Old City.

'This is like blowing up the Taj Mahal or destroying the Acropolis in Athens. This mosque is a living sanctuary,' said Helga Seeden, a professor of archaeology at the American University of Beirut. 'This is a disaster. In terms of heritage, this is the worst I've seen in Syria. I'm horrified.'

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