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Maamoun Abdulkarim, head of Syria's Department of Antiquities and Museums, explained to the AP that the Islamic State destroyed two historic mausoleums in Palmyra, raising fears that the city's Roman ruins are among his next targets.
Abdulkarim commented that the first mausoleum located north of Palmyra corresponds to the tomb of Mohammad bin ali, a descendant of Iman Ali, a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad and a deeply revered Shiite saint.
The second tomb is closest to the archaeological zone of the city and was the resting site of Sufi scholar Nizar Abu Bahaa Eddine, who lived in Palmira 500 years ago.
It should be noted that the militants of the Islamic State are Sunnis who follow a radical interpretation of Islam, who see graves and religious shrines as contrary to their vision by allowing idolatry. At the same time, see Shiites as heretics and followers of Sufi mystical orders as deviants.
Since the Islamic State captured Palmyra last month, fears have spread that destroy the city's impressive archaeological legacy once known to be one of the most important tourist sites in the Middle East.
Earlier this week, Abdulkarim said he received “unofficial news»From Palmira where the IS militants had planned to blow up the city, which led him to contact the tribal chiefs in the area to try to dissuade them.
On the other hand, the Islamic State communicated at the time of capturing Palmyra that they had no plans to destroy the ruins as "they do not represent religiosity or lend themselves to idolatry«, Being only remains of houses.
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