• Isis destroys graveyards in Palmyra
    Isis destroys graveyards in PalmyraTwitter/Isis
  • File photo of ruined columns at the historical city of Palmyra, in the Syrian desert
    File photo of ruined columns at the historical city of Palmyra, in the Syrian desertReuters File

The Islamic State (Isis) terrorists in Syria have released a new photo report that shows its fighters destroying dozens of tombs and headstones in the historical city of Palmyra.

On Monday, Twitter accounts affiliated to Isis released some 10 pictures, which they claimed were from the city of Palmyra. Monitoring agency SITE confirmed that the images were published by Isis affiliates from Syria's Homs province.

The Isis took over the ancient oasis city of Palmyra, also referred to as Tadmur in Syria, on 14 May and since then it was feared that the militant group might destroy the 2,000-year-old UNESCO world heritage site.

A CNN report had noted there were concerns that the group would bulldoze and tear down Palmyra in the same manner as they destroyed ancient ruins in the Assyrian city of Nimrud. 

In March, Isis had bulldozed Nimrud in Mosul, which was seen as a  priceless jewel in Iraq's archaeological heritage. The jihadist group had later posted a video online, showing its fighters destroying Nimrud's ancient ruins using barrel bombs, bulldozers and jackhammers.

The Isis, which is a Sunni militant group that practises the most orthodox form of Islam, considers ancient shrines and statues as "false idols" and believes they must be destroyed.

According to First Things, the reason why Isis destroys graves and its headstones is because the 'Salafi' group considers such practises as pagan. The Islamic State sees the practice of building tombs, epithets and decorations on graves as a kind of idolatry, or shirk, which obstructs the true Muslims from the absolute transcendence of God.