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Islamic State plants mines in ancient city of Palmyra

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Damascus: The Islamic State (IS) militants have rigged the millennia-old city of Palmyra in central Syria with explosives, a monitor group reported on Sunday.

The IS militants have planted mines and explosive devices in the ancient part of Palmyra, where 2,000-year-old monuments and temples are located, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

It was not immediately clear whether IS planted explosives to prevent the government troops from approaching, or to blow up the archaeological sites as they previously did in Iraq, according to the London-based group, which relies on a network of activists on ground.

Last month, the IS blasted the notorious military prison in Palmyra, just days after capturing that city in the eastern countryside of the central province of Homs.

Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, contains monumental ruins of a city that was one of the most important cultural centres in ancient times. (IANS)

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Galapagos, Ecuador Celebrates 40 Years As A World Heritage Site

Popularly known as Enchanted Islands, they are located on the equatorial line crossing the north of Isabela Island.

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Galapagos Islands celebrate 40 years of World Heritage Site status. Flickr

The Ecuadorian Galapagos Islands celebrated 40 years of the declaration of the archipelago as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Ecuador President Lenin Moreno, tweeted on Saturday: “We celebrate one more anniversary of the declaration of Galapagos as the World Heritage Site. Let’s preserve and protect the Enchanted Islands, Ecuador’s legacy to the future of humanity.”

 

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Galapagos has flora and faun only unique to it. Flickr

 

In 1978, this title was awarded to the archipelago for its collection of flora and fauna unique in the world, a large part of whose species are endemic, which led to the islands management by a special regime that safeguards its conservation.

 

The archipelago is located in the Pacific Ocean at 972 km from the Ecuadorian coastline and has tourism as its main source of income with around 200,000 visitors a year.

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Galapagos has tourism as its main source of income with around 200,000 visitors a year. Flickr

The islands are home to species including sea turtles, dolphins, sharks, whales, coral reefs, frigatebirds, iguanas, lizards, cormorants, albatrosses, sea lions and penguins.

Also Read: 10 Indian Sites That Got UNESCO World Heritage Tag

Popularly known as Enchanted Islands, they are located on the equatorial line crossing the north of Isabela Island, the site of numerous earthquakes due to the tectonic plates nearby and is the second most active volcanic archipelago on the planet, after Hawaii. (IANS)