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IS Militants Target Another Ancient Temple In Palmyra

The Islamic State (IS) extremist group has severely damaged an ancient temple in Syria's Palmyra city, a monitoring group and a local resident said on August 30.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the militants targeted the Temple of Bel, a Roman-era structure in the central desert city.

A local resident was quoted as saying a huge blast went off in the afternoon. He said "it is total destruction" and that "the bricks and the columns are on the ground."

It's the second ancient temple the extremist group has targeted in Palmyra this month.

The militants detonated explosives in the nearly 2,000-year-old Baal Shamin temple on August 25.

Earlier this month, IS fighters beheaded the 83-year-old retired chief archaeologist of Palmyra, sparking widespread outrage.

Famed for its well-preserved Greco-Roman ruins, Palmyra was seized from government forces in May.

The militant group has previously destroyed ancient monuments as well as Christian and Muslim holy sites in areas under its control.

Based on reporting by Reuters, dpa, AP, and AFP