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Syria's historic Crusader castle damaged by war

Associated Press
This photo made on Thursday, May 1, 2014, shows belongings of Syrian rebels inside a chapel at Crac des Chevaliers, the world's best preserved medieval Crusader castle, in Syria. The village was destroyed in fighting between the government and rebel forces while the castle, listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, also has been damaged over the past two years. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

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The Crac des Chevaliers once held off a siege by the Muslim warrior Saladin some 900 years ago, but today bears the wounds of modern warfare: heavy artillery damaged its walls, an airstrike punctured its roof and shrapnel tore through its religious artifacts.

From its towering hilltop perch in western Syria, the world's best preserved medieval Crusader castle has fallen victim to the chaos of Syria's civil war as rebels fight to topple President Bashar Assad. The damage done to the majestic stone structure, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, shows that the warring sides will stop at nothing, including the destruction of the country's rich heritage, to hold on to power or territory. (AP)

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