UN says 17 World Heritage sites in Arab region are in danger

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UNITED NATIONS – The new head of the U.N. cultural agency says 17 of the 82 World Heritage sites in the Arab region are on its "danger" list because of conflicts.

Audrey Azoulay took the helm of the educational, scientific and cultural agency this month. She says over 100 sites across Iraq have been damaged.

She spoke at U.N. Security Council meeting Thursday on the destruction and trafficking of cultural heritage by terrorists and during conflicts. She said all six World Heritage sites in Syria have been "severely affected," including Palmyra and Aleppo, one of the world's oldest cities.

Azoulay praised the council's adoption of a resolution condemning the unlawful destruction of cultural heritage and warning the Islamic State extremist group, al-Qaida and other combatants that such attacks may constitute war crimes.

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