A file picture taken on January 13, 2009 shows a part of the ancient city of Palmyra. AFP PHOTO/CHRISTOPHE CHARON
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Jihadis from ISIS have blown up a famous temple at Syria's ruins of Palmyra, an official said, confirming fears they would destroy more world-class heritage sites.Before the arrival of Christianity in the second century, Palmyra worshipped the Semitic god Bel, whose temple at Palmyra is considered the city's most significant, in triad with the sun god Yarhibol and lunar god Aglibol.Prior to the outbreak of the Syrian conflict in March 2011, more than 150,000 tourists visited Palmyra every year, admiring its beautiful statues, more than 1,000 columns and formidable necropolis of some 500 tombs. ISIS has also executed hundreds of people in the city and surrounding area, many of them government employees, and infamously used children to shoot dead 25 Syrian government soldiers in Palmyra's ancient amphitheatre.Among those it has killed was Khaled Assad, Palmyra's antiquities chief for 50 years, who was beheaded last week after refusing to leave the city following the ISIS takeover.
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