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ISIS destroys part of another temple in Palmyra

Over the past several months, ISIS have blown up and defaced historical sites and artifacts across their sprawling 'caliphate'

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The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group has destroyed part of an ancient temple in Syria’s UNESCO-listed Palmyra city, a monitoring group said on Sunday, only a week after another temple nearby was reduced to rubble by the militants.

The militants targeted the Temple of Bel, a Roman-era structure in the central desert city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said according to Reuters.

The extent of the damage was not known, the Observatory said, citing its contacts on the ground.

A Syrian official in charge of antiquities said his government has not been able to determine how much damage an explosion near the ancient Temple of Bel caused the ancient structure in the militant-controlled city of Palmyra.

Activists, including a Palmyra resident, said an ISIS bombing extensively damaged the 2,000-year old temple Sunday.

The resident described a massive explosion, adding that he saw pictures of the damage but could not get near the site.

Maamoun Abdulkarim, the head of the Antiquities and Museums Department in Damascus, said that "undoubtedly" a large explosion took place near the temple, which lies in a sprawling Roman-era complex. But he said the extent of the damage remains unclear.

An ISIS operative told The Associated Press over Skype on Monday that the temple had been destroyed, without elaborating. He spoke on condition of anonymity because members of the group are not allowed to speak to journalists.

Last week, ISIS militants blew up the ancient temple of Baal Shamin at the famous site. Satellite photos appeared to show it had been completely destroyed.

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.