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Islamic State using ancient Raqqa church as police HQ

Mon 14 Mar 2016
By Antony Bushfield

Militants from the group calling itself Islamic State have started using an ancient church in Raqqa as the headquarters of the police.

The building of the Armenian Catholic Church of the Martyrs is being used by terrorists to enforce their strict interpretation of Islam.

Under the rules woman can be flogged for showing their face. Shop keepers selling products showing a woman's face, like hair dye, are also at risk.

The church's new use was reported by Swedish news agency Expressen TV, which commissioned two Syrian woman to go undercover and secretly film.

Expressen TV


Based in Raqqa, the self-proclaimed capital of the 'Islamic State' the woman show what life is like under the jihadists.

Hisbah, the religious police who enforce Sharia law, are using the church to discuss tactics and hand out punishments.

Raqqa was taken over by the militants in the summer of 2014 and has been under their control ever since.

Thousands of Christians fled the city amid a warning to pay a tax, leave or be killed.

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