Moscow wants destruction of religious shrines banned

The developments in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf have alerted the Russian Foreign Ministry to the need to protect religious shrines in areas of hostilities, Boris Malakhov, deputy spokesman for the ministry, told reporters on Wednesday in response to a question about fighting in the area of the Imam Ali mosque in that town.

"We want international law to include a provision banning destruction of religious shrines in armed conflicts," he said.

"Russia is prepared to contribute to the drafting of this provision jointly with all interested countries," Malakhov said.