Satellite images confirm the destruction of the Baal Shamin temple in Syria’s Palmyra, the United Nations said Friday, after international condemnation of the act claimed by the Islamic State group. The UN training and research agency UNITAR said its satellite programme had compared images of the site taken on June 26 and again on August 27. ‘We confirm the destruction of the main building, while surrounding columns seem to be less affected,’ UNITAR said in a statement. The grainy images show that the famed temple, considered the second-most significant in ancient Palmyra, ‘has been blown to bits,’ spokesman Einar Bjorgo told AFP. ‘It has been flattened,’ he said. The destruction, which reportedly happened last Sunday, just days after IS fighters beheaded the 82-year-old retired chief archaeologist of Palmyra,

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