Saturday 27 May 2017

2,000-year-old temple blown to bits by Isil

An undated image, which appears to be a screenshot from a video and which was published by the Islamic State group in the Homs province (Welayat Homs) on August 25, 2015, allegedly shows smoke billowing from the Baal Shamin temple in Syria's ancient city of Palmyra
An undated image, which appears to be a screenshot from a video and which was published by the Islamic State group in the Homs province (Welayat Homs) on August 25, 2015, allegedly shows smoke billowing from the Baal Shamin temple in Syria's ancient city of Palmyra
Explosives placed by Isil at the ancient site in Palmyra.
Militants laying explosives in the 2,000-year-old temple of Baalshamin in Syria's ancient caravan city of Palmyra. A
Explosives attached to the ancient ruins at Palmyra.

Louisa Loveluck

Isil has destroyed one of Palmyra's best-known ancient temples, Syria's antiquities chief has said .

Carefully stage-managed photos show the moment the terrorist group destroyed the Temple of Baalshamin.

The temple, which was nearly 2,000 years old, was littered with bombs before it exploded into a mushroom cloud on Sunday.

The UN condemned the demolition as a "war crime", coming days after Isil beheaded Palmyra's elderly antiquities director.

Isil seized the Palmyra archaeological site and the modern town of the same name in May, raising fears of its imminent destruction.

It was understood to remain largely untouched as the extremists instead repurposed the ruins as a stage for their brutal executions.

But Maamoun Abdulkarim, the director-general of Syria's antiquities ministry, said the Temple of Baalshamin had been destroyed.

"They placed a large quantity of explosives in the temple and then blew it, up causing much damage to the temple," he said.

Dedicated to a Babylonian god, the temple is thought to have dated from 17AD.

Irish Independent

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