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KUWAIT CITY, August 19. /TASS/. Militants from the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organizations killed Khaled Asaad, a famous archaeologist who looked after ancient ruins of Palmyra in Syria, the country’s director of antiquities Maamoun Abdulkirim said on Wednesday.
"Just imagine that such a scholar who gave such memorable services to the place and to history would be beheaded," Al Arabiya TV channel quoted Abdulkirim as saying.
Khaled Asaad was killed at the age of 82. He had worked in the UNESCO World Heritage site for 50 years. Asaad is famous for his scholar works devoted to one of the most historical sites in the Middle East. He had actively collaborated with archaeological missions from the United States, France, Germany and Switzerland. Abdulkirim said Asaad was taken hostage by IS a month ago.
The ancient city of Palmyra was seized by IS at the end of May. Media said that militants mined the whole city. In July, it was reported that the group destroyed several ancient monuments, including the Lion of al-Lat statue dating from 1st century BC.