Islamic State militants have destroyed an ancient monastery in the central Syrian province of Homs, according to a monitor and pictures published by the jihadist group.

“The Islamic State group yesterday used bulldozers to destroy the Mar Elian monastery in Al-Qaryatain, in Homs province,” said Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman.

He said the militants demolished the Syriac Catholic monastery “on the pretext that it was used for worshipping others than God.”

Photographs posted online by IS showed militants bulldozing parts of the monastery, although they did not appear to have completely destroyed the building with explosives as they have done with shrines and other religious buildings elsewhere.

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