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ISIS seizes part of Syria’s Palmyra

Most of Palmyra’s renowned ruins, including colonnaded streets and elaborately decorated tombs, lie to the southwest of the city

Published: Updated:

Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group seized control Saturday of the northern part of Syria’s ancient desert city of Palmyra after fierce clashes with government forces, a monitoring group said.

“ISIS advanced and took control of most of northern Palmyra, and there are fierce clashes happening now,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

He said 13 militants were killed in ongoing clashes near the Islamic citadel in the city’s west.

Abdel Rahman had no details on regime casualties.

Most of Palmyra’s renowned ruins, including colonnaded streets and elaborately decorated tombs, lie to the southwest of the city.

ISIS began its offensive on Palmyra on Wednesday and inched closer to the ancient metropolis on Thursday and Friday, executing at least 49 civilians over those two days according to the Observatory.