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Senior clerics fighting for the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq have issued a diktat banning pigeon breeding as they claim the sight of the birds’ genitals as they fly overhead is offensive to Islam.

Jihadis operating in the group’s ‘Euphrates province’, which stretches from Anbar in Iraq to Dier ez Zour in Syria, told pigeon breeders they had one week to stop the practice or face public flogging.

The announcement isn’t the first time ISIS has targeted the apparently blasphemous practice of pigeon breeding – a popular pastime in the Middle East

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