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ISIS cultural vandalism: Two ancient Muslim shrines destroyed in Palmyra

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Damascus (Syria), June 24: In latest act of cultural vandalism, ISIS militants destroyed two ancient Muslim shrines in the Syrian city of Palmyra, the Syrian government confirmed on Wednesday.

Palmyra is known as the "bride of the desert.

Muslim shrine destroyed in Palmyra

"ISIS has blown up two ancient Muslim shrines in Palmyra, and has published photos of this awful crime against the Syrian cultural heritage on Facebook," said a statement issued by the Maamoun Abdulkarim, head of the Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums (DGAM), CNN reported.

The two shrines which have been destroyed are associated to Mohammed bin Ali, a descendent of Ali bin Abi Taleb, the Prophet Mohammed's cousin and the shrine of Shagaf, known as Abu Behaeddine, a religious figure from Palmyra, dated to 500 years ago.

Things to know about Syrian city of PalymyraThings to know about Syrian city of Palymyra

Theses shrines are located in a hilly area 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) north of Palmyra and in the oasis 500 meters away from the Ancient City's Arch of Triumph respectively.

Images posted on the DGAM website show dust and debris flying into the air as the shrines are destroyed.

In February this year, ISIS destroyed collection of priceless statues and sculptures in Iraq dating back thousands of years. They used sledgehammers and power drills to smash ancient artwork as they rampaged through a museum in the northern city of Mosul.

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