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IS destroys ancient monastery in central Syria

IS demolishes ancient monastery in central Syria with bulldozers

IS destroys ancient monastery in central Syria

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) -- A priest and activists say the Islamic State group has demolished an ancient monastery in central Syria.

The extremist group posted photos on social media showing bulldozers destroying the Saint Eliane Monastery Friday near the town of Qaryatain, which IS captured in early August.

A Christian clergyman told The Associated Press in Damascus that IS militants also wrecked a church inside the monastery that dates back to the first Christian centuries. The priest, who spoke Friday on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said the monastery included an Assyrian Catholic church.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks Syria's conflict, also reported the destruction of the monastery.

Since capturing parts of Syria and Iraq, IS fighters have destroyed mosques, churches and archaeological sites.

Updated : 2021-09-17 15:04 GMT+08:00