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Palmyra completely destroyed by war

Reporter: Wang Tongxuan 丨 CCTV.com

05-01-2016 10:32 BJT

It has been more than a month since Syrian government forces recaptured Palmyra from ISIL militants. But few locals have returned home. Months of fighting on the ground has destroyed the city's infrastructure. 

The Syrian city of Palmyra resembles a ghost town. Almost all of its buildings have been destroyed.

Thousands of residents fled their homes when Islamic State occupied the city in May 2015.  Most of them still live in the government-held city of Homs about 150 kilometers away.

Syria's government forces retook Palmyra at the end of March from ISIL militants, who occupied the city for ten months. Since then, a bus route from Homs to Palmyra has been opened.

But most residents only visit to sort out their possessions. They say the damage is worse than they imagined.

"We are glad to see Palmyra recaptured and happy that we can go back to our hometown. But we never imagined that it would be like this. The houses are damaged, some of the furniture is gone, and the streets are ruined. It is absolutely impossible to live here. We want to go home, but there's no water or electricity. And also, it is unsafe and unsanitary," said Um Ibrahim, local resident.

Authorities have started restoring power lines in the city, and repairing housing and roads. But there is a lot of work still be done to revive this once booming city, which housed nearly 70,000 people before the war.

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