IS ‘blows up Palmyra columns to kill three captives’

Islamic State militants have killed three captives in Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra by tying them to columns and blowing them up, activists say.

The identities of those reportedly killed on Sunday have yet to be given.

But they are thought to be the first to have been killed in that way since the jihadist group seized the ruins in May.

IS has destroyed two 2,000-year-old temples, an arch and funerary towers at Palmyra, one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world.

The group believes that such structures are idolatrous. The UN cultural agency, Unesco, has condemned the destruction as a war crime.