ISIS blows up 3 captives tied to ancient Palmyra columns – reports
The terrorist group “tied three individuals it had arrested from Palmyra and its outskirts to the columns... and executed them by blowing up” the columns, Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, claimed.
The execution reportedly took place on Sunday. The names, affiliation, or the offense of the three condemned individuals have not been revealed.
“There was no one there to see [the execution]. The columns were destroyed and IS [Islamic State, formerly ISIS] has prevented anyone from heading to the site,” Khaled al-Homsi, a member of Palmyra Coordination Committee activist group told AFP.
Another activist from IS-held city told the agency that the columns were “archaeological, and there are many like them still present in Palmyra.”
“IS is doing this for the media attention, so that IS can say that it is the most villainous, and so it can get people's attention,” Mohammad al-Ayed told AFP.
The jihadist group captured Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in May, unleashing a wave of destruction on many important historical sites, calling them “manifestations of polytheism.”
The destruction of Temple of Bel and Baalshamin Temple are just two examples that sparked world outrage. Earlier this month IS blew up Palmyra’s Arch of Triumph, one of the most treasured monuments in the 2,000-year-old city.
To preserve cultural artifacts throughout the world from terrorist threats, UNESCO approved a proposal to send UN peacekeepers to protect heritage sites earlier this month.