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Iraq's finest buildings shown on deck of cards for US forces

The US military has been given a deck of cards showing some of Iraq's finest buildings and archaeological gems in a bid to stop them being bombed.

Similar to the infamous pack of 55 picture cards used by the coalition forces to track down Saddam Hussein and his key henchmen, the new deck features historic jewels such as the spiralled minaret at Samarra (pictured).

Following the invasion of Iraq, the US-led forces came in for heavy criticism for the needless destruction of a number of archaeological sites.

Back in 2005 there was an outcry after it emerged troops had 'substantially damaged' the remains of the ancient city of Babylon by digging anti-tank trenches and driving heavy vehicles over the site (AJ 21.01.2005).

As well as picturing the war-torn country's most important buildings, including the Nabi Yunis mosque believed to hold the ruins of the biblical prophet Jonah, each card also gives the soldiers helpful advice.

The Queen of Hearts card in the new deck tells of 'the importance of culture to the local community' and states that 'showing respect wins hearts and minds'.

by Richard Vaughan

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