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IS Reportedly Destroys Another Ancient Temple in Palmyra

  • VOA News

Syrian activists say the so-called Islamic State militant group has severely damaged another ancient temple in the historic Syrian city of Palmyra.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, citing witnesses in Pamlyra, said Sunday the militants used explosives against the nearly 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel.

One witness says only the wall remains.

Islamic State posted pictures on social media last week showing militants destroying another ancient Palmyra temple, Baal Shamin. The U.N. cultural agency calls it a war crime.

The Syrian Observatory says Islamic State beheaded Palmyra's former antiquities director, Khaled Asaad, and publicly displayed his body.

Islamic State seized Palmyra in May and historians immediately put out a global alarm. The militants call priceless ancient artifacts and statues blasphemous. They also have destroyed other historic sites in Iraq.

But the Observatory says Islamic State has sold a number of ancient pieces to raise money. It says the militants are actually destroying replicas and fakes in some videos purporting to show them smashing works of art.