ISIS militants stand inside the ancient monastery of the St. Elian, near the town of Qaryatayn, Syria.
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ISIS Friday demolished a monastery founded more than 1,500 years ago in central Syria, near a town where the extremists abducted dozens of Christians earlier this month, activists and a priest said.The destruction of the St. Elian Monastery near the town of Al-Qaryatayn comes days after ISIS militants publicly beheaded an 81-year-old antiquities scholar who had dedicated his life to studying and overseeing the iconic ancient ruins in the Syrian city of Palmyra. A Christian clergyman told the AP in Damascus that ISIS militants also wrecked a church inside the monastery that dates back to the fifth century.Activists said that shortly after capturing Al-Qaryatayn, ISIS abducted 230 residents, including dozens of Christians.Since capturing about a third of Syria and Iraq last year, ISIS fighters have destroyed mosques, churches and archaeological sites, causing extensive damage to the ancient cities of Nimrud, Hatra and Dura Europos.
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