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UN: Palmyra's Temple Of Bel 'Destroyed'


The Temple of Bel was built in the historical city of Palmyra some 2,000 years ago. (file photo)

The Temple of Bel was built in the historical city of Palmyra some 2,000 years ago. (file photo)

The United Nations says satellite images confirm that a 2,000-year-old temple in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra has been destroyed.

There had been reports of an August 30 blast at the Temple of Bel in Palmyra, which was seized by Islamic State (IS) fighters in May.

The UN training and research agency UNITAR provided satellite images from before and after the explosion, showing that parts of the temple were heavily damaged or completely destroyed.

A combined photo shows close-ups of satellite-acquired images with the Temple of Bel seen in Syria's ancient city of Palmyra on August 27 and (bottom) rubble at the temple's location on August 31.

A combined photo shows close-ups of satellite-acquired images with the Temple of Bel seen in Syria's ancient city of Palmyra on August 27 and (bottom) rubble at the temple's location on August 31.

"We can confirm destruction of the main building of the Temple of Bel as well as a row of columns in its immediate vicinity," it said on August 31.

Last week, it was confirmed that another site at Palmyra, the Baal Shamin temple, had been blown up.

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

Based on reporting by AFP and the BBC
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