11 killed in suspected IS attack in Syrian desert region: war monitor

(Xinhua) 10:37, March 26, 2024

DAMASCUS, March 25 (Xinhua) -- An attack by suspected Islamic State (IS) militants killed at least 11 people in the desert region of northern Syria on Sunday, a war monitor reported.

The attack claimed the lives of at least two civilians and nine soldiers after their vehicle hit a landmine on the way to collect truffles in the desert, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

After the blast, the militants opened fire and then kidnapped three more people, whose whereabouts remain unknown, the Britain-based watchdog group added.

The attack is the latest of a series by the IS against Syrian truffle hunters in the desert regions. Despite the grave danger posed by the IS, many Syrians, grappling with poverty after 13 years of conflict, risk their lives in pursuit of the expensive mushrooms and the lucrative profits they bring.

The IS militants have used the Syrian desert region as a safe haven after the end of their geographical control over residential areas in Syria in 2019, frequently attacking and abducting civilians and military personnel, resulting in a continued loss of life and instability in the region.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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