In this picture taken Friday, April 1, 2016, Syrian soldiers explain the military operation to clear Palmyra to journalists, in the ancient city of Palmyra in the central city of Homs, Syria. (AP Photo)
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ISIS militants retreating from Palmyra laid thousands of mines that they planned to set off simultaneously as the army moved in, a Syrian officer told Reuters in the ancient city after its recapture from the fighters.The officer said main streets and side roads in Palmyra had been rigged with explosives weighing up to 50 kg. More than 3,000 had already been safely detonated since government forces, backed by Russian jets, retook the city on Sunday, he said. A military source told Reuters on Saturday troops had identified 45 bodies in a mass grave in Palmyra, including civilians and Syrian army members captured by ISIS.As well as a network of bombs, ISIS left traces of their 10-month rule in Palmyra.The ancient Roman amphitheatre, where ISIS shot dead around 20 men as it took over the city last May, appears unscathed.Other structures blown up by ISIS include Palmyra's triumphal arch, three funerary towers and the temple of Baal Shamin.
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