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St. Elijah monastery in Mosul, Iraq, 2004

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    Columnist Bill Nemitz climbs stairs at the St. Elijah Monastery on Dec. 24, 2004, in Mosul, Iraq.

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    This combination of two satellite images provided by DigitalGlobe, taken on March 31, 2011, and Sept. 28, 2014, shows the site of the 1,400-year-old Christian monastery known as St. Elijah’s, or Dair Mar Elia, on the outskirts of Mosul, Iraq. These satellite photos obtained this month by The Associated Press confirm what church leaders and Middle East preservationists had feared: The monastery has been reduced to a field of rubble, yet another victim of the Islamic State's relentless destruction.

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    Bill Nemitz tours the St. Elijah Monastery in 2004 with Dan Landers, who was a sergeant in the 133rd Engineer Battalion of the Maine Army National Guard.

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    Bill Nemitz tours the St. Elijah Monastery in 2004 with Sgt. Dan Landers.

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    A view of the land surrounding the St. Elijah Monastery in 2004.

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    A view of a courtyard seen through a doorway at the St. Elijah Monastery in a photo taken on Dec. 24, 2004.

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    Bill Nemitz talks with Sgt. Dan Landers at the St. Elijah Monastery.

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    Monastery in Mosul, Iraq, taken on Dec. 24, 2004.

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    Bill Nemitz walks through a doorway at the St. Elijah Monastery in Mosul, Iraq on Dec. 24, 2004. The 1400-year-old monastery has been reduced to rubble.

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    A view inside the walls of the St. Elijah Monastery on Dec. 24, 2004.

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    St. Elijah monastery in Mosul, Iraq, 2004 - | of | Share this photo

    Satellite imagery shows that the Islamic State has destroyed the 1400-year-old monastery, the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq.

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    St. Elijah monastery in Mosul, Iraq, 2004 - | of | Share this photo

    Bill Nemitz leans near a doorway at the St. Elijah Monastery in Mosul, Iraq, on Dec. 24, 2004.

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