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ISIL claims destruction of Palmyra has begun

ISIL claims destruction of Palmyra has begun
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Islamic extremists ISIL, who were reported on Sunday to have mined the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria claim they have begun to destroy the ancient city complex by blowing up two ancient Muslim shrines they consider blasphemous.

They have released before and after photos of the two historic monuments, part of UNESCO’s listed global heritage.

It has been unclear if the complex was mined to destroy it completely, or if explosives were laid in an attempt to dissuade the Syrian army or other forces from attempting to retake the site.

Archeologists were able to remove hundreds of valuable artefacts before the arrival of ISIL, but the vast majority of the structures remain in place, and are vulnerable.