Middle East

Syria: 150 mines planted by ISIS removed so far in Palmyra's ancient site

  • This photo released on Sunday March 27, 2016, by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows a general view of Palmyra citadel, central Syria. Palmyra is an archaeological gem that Syrian troops took back from Islamic State fighters in central Syria. The amount of destruction found inside the archaeological area in the historic Syrian town of Palmyra was similar to what experts have expected but the shock came Monday from inside the local museum where the extremists have caused wide damage demolishing invaluable statues that were torn to pieces. (SANA via AP)

    This photo released on Sunday March 27, 2016, by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows a general view of Palmyra citadel, central Syria. Palmyra is an archaeological gem that Syrian troops took back from Islamic State fighters in central Syria. The amount of destruction found inside the archaeological area in the historic Syrian town of Palmyra was similar to what experts have expected but the shock came Monday from inside the local museum where the extremists have caused wide damage demolishing invaluable statues that were torn to pieces. (SANA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • This photo released on Sunday March 27, 2016, by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian government soldiers patrol a street in the ancient city of Palmyra, central Syria. The amount of destruction found inside the archaeological area in the historic town  was similar to what experts have expected but the shock came Monday from inside the local museum where the extremists have caused wide damage demolishing invaluable statues that were torn to pieces. (SANA via AP)

    This photo released on Sunday March 27, 2016, by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian government soldiers patrol a street in the ancient city of Palmyra, central Syria. The amount of destruction found inside the archaeological area in the historic town was similar to what experts have expected but the shock came Monday from inside the local museum where the extremists have caused wide damage demolishing invaluable statues that were torn to pieces. (SANA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • This photo released on Sunday March 27, 2016, by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows destroyed statues at the damaged Palmyra Museum, in Palmyra city, central Syria. The amount of destruction found inside the archaeological area in the historic town  was similar to what experts have expected but the shock came Monday from inside the local museum where the extremists have caused wide damage demolishing invaluable statues that were torn to pieces. (SANA via AP)

    This photo released on Sunday March 27, 2016, by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows destroyed statues at the damaged Palmyra Museum, in Palmyra city, central Syria. The amount of destruction found inside the archaeological area in the historic town was similar to what experts have expected but the shock came Monday from inside the local museum where the extremists have caused wide damage demolishing invaluable statues that were torn to pieces. (SANA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A Syrian antiquities official says demining experts have so far removed 150 bombs planted by the Islamic State group inside the archaeological site in the historic town of Palmyra.

Syria's head of antiquities and museums, Maamoun Abdul-Karim, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that a technical team has returned to Damascus after a two-day work in Palmyra.

Syrian troops captured the town from ISIS fighters on Sunday after three weeks of intense fighting.

Abdul-Karim says the team photographed inside the museum where many statues were damaged by ISIS during its 10-month control of Palmyra.

He says the technical team couldn't reach some remote sites, including the burial places, because there are "hundreds of mines" left.

Syrian state media reported that warplanes struck several IS vehicle and targets east of Palmyra.