Islamic State fighters have seized the northern part of the ancient World Heritage-listed city of Palmyra in Syria, a monitoring group has said.
Militants seized part of the town of Tadmur located on a strategic east-west route next to Palmyra on Saturday but had been pushed back from the ruins.
Palmyra contains the ruins of one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world, according to UNESCO.
It is feared IS fighters may now damage or destroy the site.
Syria’s antiquities chief said the insurgents would destroy the ancient ruins if they took control.
The group has demolished similar antiquities in Iraq, seeing them as symbols of idolatry.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said a third of Palmyra had been taken.