SABRATHA -- 3RD CENTURY CE ROMAN CITY -- TAKEN BY ISLAMIST GROUP
Islamic State fighters have reportedly taken over the ancient Roman city of Sabratha in western Libya, raising concerns that the jihadist group may destroy the remnants of another UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Members of the radical Islamist group were said to take over the coastal city, home to about 100,000 people and the ruins of a second and third century CE Roman city, Libyan Arabic news sources has reported.
Sabratha was a Phoenician trading post, like its more famous neighbor Carthage. The UN recognized it as a World Heritage site in 1982. It features some of the best preserved remains of ancient temples and churches, mosaics and baths, but most impressive is the Roman theater, with a wonderfully preserved three-story backdrop.
The English-language Libya Herald reported, however, that it wasn’t clear whether the troops that entered the archaeological site were Islamic State or Ansar al-Sharia. It says checkpoints and 30 vehicles with blacks appeared in the city after police arrested two men, one of whom was related to a member of the Islamic State.