ISIS Beheads Elderly Archaeology ‘Pioneer': Reports

ISIS militants beheaded one of Syria's most prominent antiquities scholars in the ancient town of Palmyra, then strapped his body from one of the town's Roman columns, Syrian state media and an activist group said Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.

According to Syrian state-run news agency SANA and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 81-year-old Khaled al-Asaad was beheaded on Tuesday in a square outside the town's museum. The Observatory, which has a network of activists on the ground in Syria, said dozens of people gathered to witness the killing.

The killing of al-Asaad was the latest atrocity perpetrated by the militant group, which has captured a third of both Syria and Iraq. Since ISIS overran Palmyra in May, there have been fears the extremists, who have destroyed famed archaeological sites in Iraq, would demolish its 2,000-year-old Roman-era city at the town's edge, one of the Mideast's most spectacular archaeological sites.

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