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UN chief appalled by 'barbaric' attacks in Palmyra

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UN chief appalled by barbaric attacks in Palmyra
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United Nations: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that he was appalled by reports that Islamic State militants had demolished a temple in Syria's ancient Palmyra.

IS fighters packed explosives in the Baal Shamin temple and blew up the shrine on Sunday, Syria's antiquities chief said.

Ban also voiced outrage over the murder of Khaled al-Assaad, the retired chief archaeologist at Palmyra whose body was mutilated after he was beheaded on August 18.

"These barbaric acts of terror join a long list of crimes committed over the past four years in Syria against its civilian population and heritage," Ban said in a statement yesterday.

Palmyra is listed as a world heritage site by the UN cultural body UNESCO, and Ban recalled that destroying world cultural sites was a war crime.

The UN chief called on world governments to "unite and act swiftly to put a stop to this terrorist activity."

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