Syria's state news agency has reported that "Islamic State" militants have demolished a famous monument and damaged a theater in the ancient city of Palmyra. This is not the first time IS has destroyed ancient relics.
Syrian state news agency SANA reported Friday that the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) group had destroyed the facade of the second-century Roman amphitheater in Syria's historic city of Palmyra.
Militants also demolished the Tetrapylon, a cubic-shaped Roman monument, SANA said. The destruction was apparently carried out on Thursday, according to reports.
"This destruction is a new war crime and an immense loss for the Syrian people and for humanity," UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said in a statement.
IS extremists have controlled the ancient Palmyra site since December, after retaking the World Heritage site from Syrian government forces.
The al-Qaeda offshoot first seized Palmyra in May 2015 from Syrian troops, destroying parts of the ancient site. IS was then pushed out last March by government forces, backed by Russian air power. Many residents fled Palmyra after the government offensive last spring.
als/cmk (dpa, Reuters, AP)