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ancient temple

Palmyra’s ancient temple of Baalshamin has been destroyed by ISIS militants, Syrian officials and activists say.

Syria’s head of antiquities was quoted as saying the temple was blown up on August 23.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that it happened one month ago.

The Islamic State took control of Palmyra in May, sparking fears the group might demolish the UNESCO World Heritage site.ISIS destroyed Baalshamin temple in Palmyra

The group has destroyed several ancient sites in Iraq.

ISIS “placed a large quantity of explosives in the temple of Baalshamin today and then blew it up causing much damage to the temple,” Syrian antiquities chief Maamoun Abdulkarim told AFP news agency.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, residents who had fled from Palmyra also said ISIS had planted explosives at the temple, although they had done it about one month ago.

Last month, ISIS published photos of militants destroying what it said were artifacts looted at Palmyra.

Last week, it emerged that the 81-year-old archaeologist who had looked after Palmyra’s ruins for four decades had been beheaded by ISIS.