May 20, 2015 / 11:45 AM / 3 years ago

Islamic State seizes parts of Syria's Palmyra city: monitor

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Islamic State fighters seized around a third of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra on Wednesday after heavy clashes with the military and allied combatants, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

File photo of ruined columns at the historical city of Palmyra, in the Syrian desert, some 240km (150 miles) northeast the capital of Damascus November 12, 2010. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri/Files

Islamic State fighters advanced towards the city, known as Tadmur in Arabic, over the weekend but were repelled. The city is home to a UNESCO World Heritage site and Syria’s antiquities chief has said the insurgents would destroy ancient ruins if they took control of it.

Reporting by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Larry King

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