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Syria: IS attack in Homs desert kills dozens — state media

  • February 18, 2023

At least 53 people were killed Friday in the central Syrian province of Homs in an attack by the so-called “Islamic State” (IS), state media said.

What do we know so far?

State news agency SANA cited the head of the Palmyra state hospital, Walid Audi, as saying that victims had gunshot wounds to the head.

“Fifty-three citizens who were truffle hunting were killed during an attack by the terrorists of IS to the southwest of the town of Al-Sokhna,” state television said.

Five people who were wounded were transferred to another hospital.

SANA cited one of the survivors as saying that IS had burned their cars.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the attack, saying it was carried out by jihadists on motorcycles.

The war monitor said that 46 civilians died in the attack.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the deadly ambush.

Other IS attacks in Syria

Many people have been targeted while truffle hunting in parts of Syria. Last Saturday, sixteen people were killed in a similar attack targeting foragers in the Homs region, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The attack on Friday was the deadliest IS attack since January last year, when the extremist group stormed a prison in the northeastern city of al-Hasaka in a bid to free militants, killing hundreds. Al-Hasaka is controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

IS once controlled territory in the Homs region, but lost land to both Syrian government and opposition forces.

Also on Friday, the US Central Command said four American military personnel were injured in a blast during a raid that killed a senior IS leader in Syria, identified as Hamza al-Homsi.

sdi/wd (Reuters, AFP)

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