MIDDLE EAST

ISIS blows up ancient temple in Syria’s Palmyra

The temple of Baal Shamin in Palmyra, seen here before ISIS blew it up (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants on Sunday blew up the ancient temple of Baal Shamin in the UNESCO-listed Syrian city of Palmyra, the country’s antiquities chief told AFP.

“Daesh placed a large quantity of explosives in the temple of Baal Shamin today and then blew it up causing much damage to the temple,” said Maamoun Abdulkarim, using another name for ISIS.

Over the past several months, ISIS have blown up and defaced historical sites and artifacts across their sprawling self-proclaimed "caliphate" stretching across Iraq and Syria.

ISIS took control of Palmyra in May, located in the central desert region of the country, sparking worldwide concern that they would destroy its 2,000 year-old ruins. 

Last week, the militants caused uproar when they beheaded Khaled Asaad, an 82-year-old antiquities scholar living in Palmyra, reportedly because he refused to reveal where some artifacts were hidden.

In June, ISIS destroyed two ancient Muslim mausoleums in Palmyra.

Then in July, the militants used Palmyra's ancient amphitheatre as a stage to kill 25 Syrian solidiers, and released a video of the mass execution.

An ISIS fighter reads out a death sentence in front of 25 Syrian soldiers in the site of the amphitheater in Palmyra, Syria. The footage was believed to have been taken in July. (Video grab)

The fate of Palmyra's remaining ruins - including its dozens of standing Roman-era columns - remains unclear.

 

(With AFP)

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Last Update: Monday, 24 August 2015 KSA 00:07 - GMT 21:07
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ISIS blows up ancient temple in Syria’s Palmyra
The militants blew up the ancient temple of Baal Shamin in the UNESCO-listed Syrian city of Palmyra
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