Three days ago the fundamentalists blew up the mausoleum of Mohammed Ben Ali, a descendant of the family of the prophet's cousin Ali Ben Abi Taleb, said Syrian Director of Antiquities, Maamoun Abdulkarim. The mausoleum is in a mountainous area 4 kilometres north of Palmyra and ISIS has published pictures of armed men next to a number of barrels, probably packed with explosives, who were heading to the hill where the site is located.
According to Mr Abdulkarim, ISIS had previously blown up the 500 year-old mausoleum of Chkaf, known as Nizar Abou Bahaeddine, a religious figure in Palmyra. The monument is in the oasis city, 500 metres from a triumphal arch. In the regions under their control, says Abdulkarim, the extremists have destroyed at least 50 mausoleums dating back 100 to 200 years, as well as a number of tombs of people from Palmyra. All tombs with marble designs were destroyed. For them, he added, graves should not be visible. (AGI)