Russian engineers and mine sweeping robots continued to dismantle mines and explosive devices laid by ISIL militants in the Syrian ancient city of Palmyra, particularly at the UNESCO World Heritage site in the old city of Palmyra, as thousands have been returning their homes in nearby modern city in Eastern parts of Homs province. According to officials over 1,500 mines and explosive devices had been unearthed and defused before the weekend, with Russian bomb disposal and demining experts taking shifts to sift through the area. As Russian sappers continue to de-mine the historic city of Palmyra, thousands have returned to the modern city nearby, with the Syrian government provide the transportation for thousands to return their homes in the city. Local residents say they prefer to return their damaged homes in the war-ravaged city than to reside in temporarily tents or refugees camps in other parts of the country. "The first thing I checked in the house was the roof,” an unnamed 68-year-old retired civil servant said as he surveyed the structural damage to his house. “The walls, the windows, and the door are also still there, and that’s enough for me to get my family ready to return to Palmyra.” The man was in the second group of residents to come back since Thursday, with the authorities in Homs saying they will provide 48 buses to transport 2,000 more residents back to Palmyra and the nearby Christian settlement of Al-Quaryatayn, which were taken back this month. The city was home to about 70,000 people prior to its capture by ISIL militants in May last year. It was retaken by the Syrian army two weeks ago with the help of Russian planes and commandos, and other pro-government forces. Returnees are determined to withstand all problems to re-inhabit in their homes despite a lack of electricity and water, as well as extensive minefields laid by ISIL before their retreat. There is no water or electricity, and we are continuing to work on demining the surroundings of the city,” an official source said to reporters. “We will need at least three weeks to rehabilitate the city’s infrastructure to the extent that residents will be able to spend the night in their homes.”