23 June 2015

Isis destroys Palmyra shrines in Syria

Islamic State militants have blown up two ancient shrines they consider sacrilegious in Palmyra, the jihadi group said on Tuesday.

The report was the first of any damage being done by the militants to buildings in Palmyra, a 2,000 Unesco world heritage site in central Syria, since they seized control of the city in May. Syrian forces have bombed the city, and the militants camped within it, since then.

Before and after pictures showed several militants carrying explosives and the shrines, which are not among the city’s monumental Roman-era buildings, reduced to rubble.

News of the destruction in Palmyra emerged as the chief spokesman of Isis issued a call for increased violence during the holy month of Ramadan, and called upon Sunnis in Iraq to rise up against what he described as Shia oppression intended to end the Sunni presence in the country. [The Guardian] Read more