IS destroys Triumphal Arch of Palmyra

Damascus, Oct 5 (IANS) The Islamic State (IS) militants destroyed the centuries-old Triumphal Arch of Palmyra, a Syrian official said.

The Triumphal Arch, which dates back to the second century AD, has been destroyed by the IS militants on Sunday, Xinhua news agency quoted Maamoun Abdul-Karim, the head of the Damascus Department of Antiquities and Museums, as saying.

“We were informed that the IS had booby-trapped the arch, but we never thought their madness will lead them to actually blowing it up because the arch held no religious signs or indications,” he said.

The arch is significant because it is considered the entrance of the ancient city of Palmyra and one of its most beautiful icons and landmarks.

“We expect that the entire city of Palmyra will be destroyed. It’s certain, they will destroy the entire city after they previously blew up two major temples, 10 tombs, and destroyed some relics in the city’s museum,” he said.

Since capturing it last May, the group destroyed Palmyra’s military prison.

Palmyra contains the monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world.

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