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Palmyra's Temple of Bel 'destroyed' a satellite image confirms 

Update : 2015-09-01 10:12:26
Palmyra's Temple of Bel 'destroyed' a satellite image confirms 

A satellite image confirms that the main temple in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra has been destroyed, the United Nations says.

There had been earlier reports of an explosion at the Temple of Bel in Palmyra, which is held by militants from Islamic State (IS).

Syria's antiquities chief had earlier said the basic structure of the 2,000-year-old site was intact.
But UN satellite analysts Unosat say the image shows almost nothing remains.

"Unfortunately, the images we acquired do show that the main building of the temple has been destroyed," Einar Bjorgo, Unosat's manager, told the BBC early on Tuesday.
He added that a set of columns nearby had also been destroyed.

On Monday, Maamoun Abdulkarim, the head of the Syrian Department of Antiquities and Museums, had said the Temple of Bel suffered a large explosion, but that he believed most of the site had remained intact.

Witnesses had struggled, however, to get close to the site to confirm the extent of the damage.

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