Syrian army units were clearing land mines and explosives left behind by Islamic State militants in the historic town of Palmyra on Friday, a day after government troops and allied militiamen recaptured it from the extremists, a Syrian security official said.

The military expects the process to be long and difficult due to the large number of mines planted by IS, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Syrian troops fully recaptured Palmyra on Thursday after a push that saw the militants’ defenses crumble and IS fighters flee in the face of artillery fire and intense Russia-backed airstrikes. Continue reading.