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Booby-Trapped Quran Copies Found Near Mosul

| by Sarah Zimmerman

Reports confirm members of ISIS placed bombs within copies of the Quran and left the rigged holy books on the streets and in front of houses in a northern Iraqi village.

An Iraqi military source says members of the extremist group cut bomb-shaped holes within the Qurans and hid homemade explosive devices throughout a village near Mosul, according to the Daily Star. Soldiers discovered the booby traps when the Iraqi army arrived to liberate the town from ISIS control.

ISIS commonly litters schools, homes and streets with booby traps as a way of fighting the Iraqi army, which is slowly chipping away at ISIS's control of large areas of the country. As more cities are being liberated from jihadist control, Iraqi soldiers have to tread carefully to avoid detonating one of ISIS's deadly booby traps.

In July, soldiers liberated Fallujah, a former ISIS-stronghold near Baghdad, and found it to be a ghost town rigged with deadly homemade devices. According to The Sun, soldiers found schools filled with explosives rigged to detonate if anybody entered. One home had "5 tons of ammonium nitrate" ready to explode.

This isn't the first time extremists have taken to rigging Islam's holy book. In August, U.S. officials confirmed forces have found the city of Ramadi littered with the explosive Qurans.

"These guys are disgusting, they have left bombs in refrigerators," said U.S. Army Col. Steve Warren, reports The Sun. "They have put bombs inside the Holy Quran -- we found that on several occasions in Ramadi."

The explosive books were left in plain view, in hopes that a civilian would stop to pick them up. Other commonly rigged items include children's toys, watches and playing cards, according to The Guardian.

Colonel Nawzad Kamil Hassan, engineer with the Kurdish forces, notes that soldiers must second-guess every step they take and every object they come across. Anything could be poised to explode at any moment.

"Every day there is a new device. Some of our men have disposed of things that others have not even seen before," he said.

"They are not even animals,” he says of the ISIS extremists responsible. “They are worse than animals."

Sources: The Sun (2), Daily Star, The Guardian / Photo credit: Alwaght/Twitter

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