UN chief appalled by `barbaric` attacks in Palmyra

AFP| Last Updated: Aug 25, 2015, 04:34 AM IST

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday 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 archeologist 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.

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."