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Islamic State Group Blows Up Two Mausoleums In Syria's Palmyra

A Syrian official confirmed on June 24 that the Islamic State (IS) group has destroyed two mausoleums near the historic central town of Palmyra.

The IS on June 23 said it had blown up two ancient shrines near Palmyra.

Maamoun Abdulkarim, the head of the Antiquities and Museums Department in Damascus, said on June 24 that one of the tombs belongs to Mohammad Bin Ali, a descendant of Islam's Prophet Muhammad's cousin Imam Ali.

Abdulkarim said on June 24 that the tomb was just north of Palmyra.

He said the second tomb was of a Sufi scholar known as Nizar Abu Bahaa Eddine, who was in the town 500 years ago. The tomb is close to the Palmyra's famed archaeological site.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based monitoring group, said this week that the militants had planted mines in Palmyra but that it was not clear whether it was preparing to destroy the site or wanted to deter government forces from advancing towards it.

The IS captured Palmyra last month.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters