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18 July 2024

Armed men 'behead' Syrian poet’s statue


Unidentified members of an armed group in northern Syria have cut off the head of a statue honouring Abbasid-era poet Abu Al Alaa Al Maari, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday.

"An armed group in the (rebel-held) town of Maaret Al Numan have cut off the head of a sculpture honouring the memory of poet and philosopher Abu Al Alaa Al Maari, who was born in the town," said the Britain-based Observatory.

It was not clear who the vandals were but Syrian activists from the town accused Al Nusra Front Islamist extremists for the act, and distributed a photograph of the ruined sculpture which was also riddled with bullets.

Rebels fighting the regime of President Bashar Al Assad overran Maaret Al Numan, which is located in northwestern Syria, in October last year.

Abu Al Alaa AlMaari, was born Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Suleiman in Maaret Al Numan in 973. He lost his eyesight at a young age but rose to become one of the greatest Arab poets.