2nd Palmyra temple appears intact after blast

2015-08-31 14:22
A part of the ancient city of Palmyra. (Christophe Charon, AFP)

A part of the ancient city of Palmyra. (Christophe Charon, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Damascus - A blast rocked the ancient ruins in Syria's Palmyra on Sunday but the site's famed Temple of Bel appeared to be largely intact, Syria's antiquities chief said.

Maamoun Abdulkarim confirmed reports of an explosion at the Unesco World Heritage-listed site, but said Palmyra's most important temple did not appear to have sustained major damage.

"The frontal columns and the cella [interior] of the temple do not appear to have been damaged," Abdulkarim said on Monday.

"According to the information we received from the town, the temple is still standing, but antiquities staff are not able to enter the site to see close up," he said.

On Sunday night, a monitor and activists said the temple had been partially destroyed by ISIS who detonated explosives inside the famed site.

The reports came a week after the jihadist group blew up the smaller Baal Shamin temple at the Greco-Roman site.

That destruction was confirmed by photos published by the group and satellite images of Palmyra taken by the United Nations.

IS seized Palmyra from Syria's regime on May 21, and shortly after was reported to have mined its ancient sites.

The group has also beheaded the 82-year-old former antiquities chief in Palmyra and destroyed a famed statue outside its museum.

The extremist group's harsh interpretation of Islam considers statues and grave markers to be idolatrous, but it has also been accused of destroying heritage sites to loot items for the black market and to gain publicity.

Read more on:    unesco  |  syria  |  security  |  archaeology

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.