Islamic State Destroys Ancient Temple in Palmyra, Syria

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Militants belong to Islamic State used a large amount of explosives to blow up an ancient temple in the historic city of Palmyra, rights groups said Monday.

Islamic State militants in May seized control of Palmyra, a city in northern Syria that’s home to one of the region’s most renowned classical sites.

Palmyra is 240 kilometers (150 miles) northeast of Damascus, and contains the ruins of a 2,000-year-old city that was one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world.

Eye-witnesses who recently escaped from the city were cited by the England-based Observatory for Human Rights as saying Islamic State destroyed the Baalshamin temple near the Roman Theatre about a month ago.

Baalshamin, also known as Ba’al, was a deity worshippped by ancient civilizations in the Middle East.