• Reuters

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The Islamic State group blew up a major prison complex in the central Syrian city of Palmyra on Saturday, according to a group monitoring the war, destroying an important symbol of government control in the jihadi-held city.

The prison was empty of people at the time of the detonation, said Rami Abdulrahman from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Islamic State announced the explosion in a statement on social media and supporters posted pictures of huge clouds of gray smoke above the sprawling complex in the city, also known as Tadmur.

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