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Iraqis defiant as extremists threaten to attack Babylon

After extremists reportedly threatened to attack the ancient site of Babylon, local Iraqis are swearing to protect both the city's antiquities and its character as a cultural center.
Residents visit the ancient city of Babylon near Hilla, 100 km (62 miles) south of Baghdad February 17, 2012. Picture taken February 17, 2012. REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen (IRAQ - Tags: TRAVEL SOCIETY) - RTR2Y1RF
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An official from the historic city of Babylon spoke out on Feb. 20 about radical parties threatening to fire on the city with missiles if concerts and other cultural activities continue to be held there.

Director of Antiquities in Babylon Hussein Fleih told the press on Feb. 22 that he had received a message threatening his life if cultural and artistic events continue in the city. Meanwhile, Babylon’s governor told Al-Hurra Iraq TV channel, “Cultural events will persist in the city, but some will be banned if they contradict the prevalent norms in the governorate” — meaning social traditions and religious beliefs.

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