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Syria army enters IS-held Palmyra

AFP , Thursday 24 Mar 2016
Syria Palmyra
Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad gesture as they advance into the historic city of Palmyra in this picture provided by SANA on March 24, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)
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Syrian troops backed by Russian warplanes on Thursday advanced into the ancient city of Palmyra, which has been under jihadist control for nearly a year, a monitor and a military source said.

"Regime forces have entered the Hayy al-Gharf neighbourhood in the southwest of Palmyra. They are advancing very slowly because of mines planted by IS (the Islamic State group)," Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

"The regime is also advancing from the north of the city," Abdel Rahman said.

A military source confirmed the advance.

"The army has entered from the northwest after seizing control of part of the Valley of the Tombs," he told AFP.

"The clashes, which are ongoing, are fierce."

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