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Syrian Fighting Hits Another Famous Target
April 24, 2013

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The ongoing civil war in Syria has resulted in severe damage to another famous building, this one the Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo.

The Mosque is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as was the Souk Al-Madina, a wood-and-stone market that has stood since the Middle Ages. A fire caused by the fighting between Syrian government forces and armed opposition forces in Octobet 2012 destroyed much of the market, which had stood since the 14th Century.

The mosque, which is near the Souk Al-Madina, was built in the 8th Century. Its minaret, or tower, was destroyed in the most recent fighting.

The mosque has been in the thick of the fighting for months. Opposition forces have occupied it since earlier this year. It was damaged in October 2012, and President Bashar al-Assad promised to restore it once the fighting had stopped.

The fighting continues, however, with each side blaming the other for damaging the mosque. Casualties in the war, which has passed the two-year mark, are estimated by human rights groups to be more than 70,000. The number of refugees is in the millions.

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