Islamic State ‘seizes part of Syria’s World Heritage-listed city of Palmyra

Islamic State fighters have seized the northern part of the ancient World Heritage-listed city of Palmyra in Syria, a monitoring group has said, the BBC reports.

Militants seized part of the town of Tadmur located on a strategic east-west route next to Palmyra on Saturday but had been pushed back from the ruins.

Palmyra contains architecture of one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world, according to Unesco.

Now they have reached Palmyra, it is feared IS fighters may destroy it.

IS demolished the Unesco world heritage site of Hatra in Iraq in March, seeing it as a symbol of idolatry.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said a third of Palmyra had been taken after battles with government forces.

The site features a colonnaded street, major public buildings and funerary monuments.

It dates back to the 1st and 2nd Century, mixing Graeco-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences.

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