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Ancient sites in peril or destroyed by Islamic State extremists

Ancient sites in peril or destroyed by Islamic State extremists

Islamic State militants in Syria are threatening ancient sites. The group has destroyed ancient artifacts in some areas that it controlled.

Joseph Eid / AFP/Getty Images

Palmyra, Syria -- Islamic State militants have blown up Palmyra's ancient Arch of Triumph, foreground, according to Syrian activists.

AFP/Getty Images

Palmyra, Syria -- This combination satellite-acquired images shows the Temple of Bel in Syria's ancient city of Palmyra on Aug. 27, 2015, top, and as rubble on Aug. 31, 2015. "We can confirm destruction of the main building of the Temple of Bel as well as a row of columns in its immediate vicinity," the UN training and research agency UNITAR said.

Palmyra, Syria -- Islamic State militants destroyed the 2,000-year-old temple of Baalshamin in August 2015.

Palmyra, Syria -- The remains of the temple of Baalshamin after it was destroyed.

Palmyra, Syria -- An Islamic State militant smashes an ancient statue that the group said was among items seized from a smuggler at a checkpoint.

AFP/Getty Images

Nimrud, Iraq -- A priceless, ancient carved stone slab is demolished by Islamic State militants on April 11, 2015.

EPA

Nimrud, Iraq -- Islamic State members destroy parts of a frieze at the ancient city of Nimrud.

AFP/Getty Images

Nimrud, Iraq -- Smoke billows from an archaeological site that was wired with explosives and destroyed by Islamic State.

Associated Press

Mosul, Iraq -- In Islamic State militant topples an ancient artifact in the Ninevah Museum. Militants have looted and vandalized the museum in Mosul and have inflicted massive damage on the ancient cities of Hatra and Ninevah, both UNESCO world heritage sites.

Associated Press

Mosul, Iraq -- A militant defaces an Assyrian winged bull deity at the Ninevah Museum.

Associated Press

Hatra, Iraq -- An Islamic State militant hammers away at a carved wall in Hatra, an ancient fortified city recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Associated Press

Hatra, Iraq -- A militant takes a sledgehammer to a carved head in Hatra

Associated Press

Hatra, Iraq -- A militant uses his machine gun to deface a carved wall.

AFP/Getty Images

Raqa, Syria -- Satellite images show the shrine of Uwais al-Qurani and Ammar bin Yasser in the Syrian city of Raqa on Oct. 12, 2011, left, and on Oct. 6, 2014, after it had been ravaged by Islamic State militants. Nearly 300 cultural heritage sites have been destroyed, damaged and looted in Syria since its conflict broke out in 2011, the U.N. said.

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