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Beirut — A resident in the Syrian city of Palmyra says Islamic State militants have demolished the ancient temple of Baalshamin after laying explosives around it for over a month, confirming earlier reports.

The U.N. cultural watchdog UNESCO called the destruction of the temple a “war crime” and an “immense loss for the Syrian people and for humanity.”

The witness, who goes by the name Nasser al-Thaer, said Monday the bombing took place a day earlier. He said he feared for the other ancient sites in Palmyra but that no explosives have been placed around them.

An IS operative told The Associated Press over Skype that a statement would be issued soon. He spoke on condition of anonymity because members of the group are not allowed to speak to media.

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