Ancient Roman ruins of Palmyra destroyed by ‘Islamic State’

Militants from the co-called ‘Islamic State’ group have destroyed a temple at Syria’s ancient ruins of Palmyra, according to activists.

News that the militants blew up the Baalshamin Temple came after extremists beheaded Palmyra scholar Khaled al-Asaad.

Palmyra, one of the Middle East’s most spectacular archaeological sites and a Unesco World Heritage site, sits near the modern Syrian city of the same name.

Activists said the militants used explosives to blow up the Baalshamin Temple on its grounds and the blast was so powerful it also damaged some of the Roman columns around it.

The Sunni extremists claim ancient relics promote idolatry and say they are destroying them as part of their purge of paganism. However, they are also believed to sell off looted antiquities.

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