Isis seizes Palmyra: Live updates as Unesco World Heritage site 'falls to Islamic State'

There are fears militants will destroy the ancient city

Adam Withnall
Wednesday 20 May 2015 15:27
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Palmyra is a UNESCO World Heritage site
Palmyra is a UNESCO World Heritage site

Isis militants have reportedly seized part of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, a Unesco World Heritage site.

Why Palmyra is so important:

Isis fighters shoot dead nine children near ancient city
Syria urges international community to save 2,000-year-old city from destruction
The ancient city that stands for both empire and resistance

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A third of Palmyra has now been taken, according to the The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.

It said militants had seized the northern part of the city, which lies on a key strategic east-west route.

But the primary international concern has been for the city's 2,000-year-old ruins. The city, known as "an oasis in the Syrian desert", was once a tourist hotspot before civil war broke out in Syria and contains a famous colonnaded main street and the temple of Baal.

Isis has launched a determined bid to destroy all aspects of cultural heritage in Iraq and Syria that preceded its self-declared 'caliphate' in recent months.

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