21 October, Saturday


Syria army retakes villages after deadly ISIS attack

World

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The Syrian army has regained full control of two central villages from ISIS after an attack that killed dozens of people, activists said Friday.
 
Troops and allied militiamen retook the Hama province villages of Aqareb and Al-Mabujeh a day after the extremist assault, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
 
The ISIS attack killed 25 civilians, including five children, and 27 pro-government fighters, the Britain-based activist group said.
 
At least three of the civilians, a man and his two children, were executed with knives, it added.
 
The Observatory reported 10 ISIS fighters killed in the assault, which began at dawn Thursday and saw extremists briefly seize all of Aqareb and parts of Al-Mabujeh.
 
State news agency SANA said 52 people had been killed, among them 15 children, adding that many of the dead had been beheaded and mutilated.
 
The two villages are home to members of several religious minority sects, and Al-Mabujeh has been targeted by ISIS before.
 
In March 2015, the group killed dozens of people and kidnapped some 50 civilians in an attack there.
 
ISIS is on the defensive across most of the territory it still holds in Syria, with an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters pressing towards its most important bastion, Raqa in the north.
 
The army is also battling the extremist group in the eastern part of Aleppo province.
 
The Observatory said at least 22 government troops and allied militiamen and 40 ISIS fighters had been killed in clashes in the area in the past 24 hours.
 
And in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, which is largely under ISIS control, extremist shelling of a government-held neighborhood killed at least 14 people, activists said.
 
A dozen people were also wounded by the artillery fire, which hit a wedding party.

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