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Syrian official: Islamic State militants broke in Palmyra museum, didn't damage its artifacts

In this picture released on Friday, May 22, 2015 by the website of Islamic State militants, shows the Islamic State militants flag, top center, raised on the to top of Palmyra castle, in the Syrian town of Palmyra, Syria. A Syrian official in charge of antiquities says Islamic State fighters have broken into the museum of the ancient town of Palmyra which they have captured days earlier, but have not harmed its contents. (The website of Islamic State militants via AP)

In this picture released on Friday, May 22, 2015 by the website of Islamic State militants, shows the Islamic State militants flag, top center, raised on the to top of Palmyra castle, in the Syrian town of Palmyra, Syria. A Syrian official in charge of antiquities says Islamic State fighters have broken into the museum of the ancient town of Palmyra which they have captured days earlier, but have not harmed its contents. (The website of Islamic State militants via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A Syrian official in charge of antiquities says Islamic State fighters have broken into the museum of the ancient town of Palmyra which they have captured days earlier, but have not harmed its contents.

Maamoun Abdulkarim, the head of the Antiquities and Museums Department in Damascus, told The Associated Press on Saturday that militants entered the museum in the town's center Friday afternoon, locked the doors and left behind their own guards.

The group captured Palmyra in the central province of Homs on Wednesday, raising concerns around the world they would destroy priceless, 2,000-year-old archaeological sites located in the town's south.

Experts suspect the group would loot the sites, selling artifacts on the black market.

The city's museum and artifacts have been damaged and looted during Syria's four-year civil war.