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PlanetPic: Fighting in Syria damages historic market, ancient ruins
Monday, October 1st, 2012

A centuries-old market in Aleppo is the latest casualty of the 18-month civil war that has rocked Syria and left more than 30,000 people dead. Fighting between government and rebel forces caused the fire in Aleppo's souk, and damaged doors, stone stalls and passageways.

Aleppo's souk — comprised of narrow passages lined with thousands of shops — was once a tourist attraction, and the old city of Aleppo is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The conflict has damaged at least a half-dozen well-known Syrian cultural sites.

"The damage to one of the best-preserved old souks in the Middle East was the worst yet to a UNESCO World Heritage site in Syria," the Associated Press reported. "Across the country, looters have broken into a historic castle, stolen artifacts from museums and damaged ruins in the ancient city of Palmyra."

Here are images of the Aleppo souk before and after the violence, the ruins of Palmyra, the old city of Damascus, a damaged church in Homs and a rebel fighting in the Crac des Chevaliers, a crusader castle.

More from GlobalPost: Inside Syria

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This file photo from August 20, 2011, shows traders, shops and stalls in the area of the medieval souk in the city of Aleppo in northern Syria. The ancient market, recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site, was badly damaged by a blaze that started on September 28, 2012, destroying much of the souk as rebel forces clashed with Syrian government troops.

( - AFP/Getty Images)
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This file photo from April 23, 2012, shows traders and shops in the medieval souk of the old city of Aleppo in northern Syria. The ancient market, recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site, was badly damaged by a blaze that started on September 28, 2012, destroying much of the souk as rebel forces clashed with Syrian government troops.

( - AFP/Getty Images)
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Syrians inspect damages in the old city of Aleppo after the area was shelled by Syrian regime forces on September 30, 2012. Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad shelled rebel-held areas across Syria as fierce clashes were reported in Aleppo where a fire tore through a medieval souk.

( - AFP/Getty Images)
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A man walks along a street past rubble from damaged buildings in the northern city of Aleppo following months of clashes between Syrian rebels and government forces on October 1, 2012. Army shelling and air raids killed dozens more civilians including children in Syrian flashpoints, a watchdog said, while rebels and loyalists fought close-quarter battles in Aleppo's main souk.

( - AFP/Getty Images)
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Tourists visit the Old City in Damascus on March 29, 2010. Tourists had been increasingly attracted to the Syrian capital's Old City, considered a protected site by UNESCO.

(LOUAI BESHARA - AFP/Getty Images)
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Tourists are seen visiting Palmyra also known as Tadmur in Arabic, 220 kilometers northeast of the Syrian capital Damascus, on June 19, 2010. Palmyra was known for being a wealthy city located along the caravan routes linking Persia with the Mediterranean ports of Roman Syria and Phoenicia and home to Queen Septimia Zenobia.

(LOUAI BESHARA - AFP/Getty Images)
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A Syrian rides a camel during the al-Badia Festival in front of Syria's famous Roman ruins in the historic town of Palmyra on May 27, 2001.

( - AFP/Getty Images)
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A Syrian man stands near the damaged entrance of the Saint Mary Church of the Holy Belt in the old city of Homs, 160 kilometers north of the capital Damascus, on May 3, 2012.

( - AFP/Getty Images)
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An image grab taken from AFP TV shows a Syrian rebel taking position at the Crac des Chevaliers, a crusader castle, near the village of Azzara on the outskirts of the flashpoint city of Homs on June 28, 2012.

( - AFP/Getty Images)
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