Sunday 28 May 2017

Islamic State beheads leading Syrian antiquities scholar in Palmyra

Picture released by the Islamic State militants, shows the Islamic State militants flag, top center, raised on the to top of Palmyra castle, in the Syrian town of Palmyra. Photo: AP
Picture released by the Islamic State militants, shows the Islamic State militants flag, top center, raised on the to top of Palmyra castle, in the Syrian town of Palmyra. Photo: AP
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Islamic State extremists have beheaded one of Syria's most prominent antiquities scholars in the ancient town of Palmyra, according to state media and an activist group.

IS killed 81-year-old Khaled Asaad in a square outside the town's museum, said state news agency SANA and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Maamoun Abdulkarim, the head of the Antiquities and Museums Department in Damascus, told SANA that Mr Asaad's body was later taken to Palmyra's archaeological site and hung from one of the Roman columns.

Palmyra, home to one of the Middle East's most spectacular archaeological sites - a well-preserved, 2,000-year-old Roman-era city at the town's edge - was captured by IS in May.

Mr Abdulkarim said IS tried to get information from Mr Asaad about sites of the town's treasures without success.

Press Association

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