Islamic State terror group kills 12 people in Syria’s Palmyra city

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Damascus, Jan 19: The Islamic State (IS) terror group has killed 12 people in different parts of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, including its famous Roman theatre, the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR) said on Thursday.

The SOHR said the victims included four civilians — among them two professors — and four soldiers, who were taken captive by the terrorists amid recent clashes in Palmyra, after the IS regained control of the city on December 11, Efe news reported.

The remaining four victims were members of rebel factions, taken prisoner by IS militants during fighting in Al-Qalamoun, north of capital Damascus.

The organisation said the four civilians were beheaded on Wednesday at the Palmyra Museum square, while the others were shot dead at a former Russian army base and at the theatre.

The IS recaptured Palmyra after launching an offensive against Syrian armed forces on December 8.

The terrorists gained control of Palmyra for the first time on May 20, 2015, but were driven out by the Syrian army 10 months later, aided by aerial support from Russia.

During its dominion over the city, the feared terrorist group carried out killings at the theatre, including in July when 25 Syrian soldiers were shot dead by underage IS recruits.

During the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D., Palmyra — whose Greco-Roman ruins are a Unesco World Heritage Site — was a prominent cultural hub and a nexus point for caravans travelling the Silk Road, an oasis of civilization in the midst of the central Syrian desert.