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Islamic State launches attack on government-held village in Syria: report

A burnt out building is seen after Syrian army forces attacked on the Hilal Hospital belonging to the Syrian Red Crescent in the city of Idlib, which is under opposition control, on March 29, 2015. Following the attack, ambulances which were parked outside the hospital became unusable. .
A burnt out building is seen after Syrian army forces attacked on the Hilal Hospital belonging to the Syrian Red Crescent in the city of Idlib, which is under opposition control, on March 29, 2015. Following the attack, ambulances which were parked outside the hospital became unusable. . Firas Taki/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

DAMASCUS, Syria – Syria’s state-run news agency says Islamic State militants have launched an attack on a government-held village in central Syria, killing at least eight people and wounding scores.

SANA says soldiers were confronting Tuesday’s attack in Mabuja in the east of the central province of Hama.

Meanwhile, websites affiliated with extremist groups claimed the militants “liberated” the village, seizing four checkpoints and killing and capturing dozens of people. The reports could not be immediately confirmed.

Mabouja is about 25 kilometres from Salamiyah, a town in Hama province where many minority Shiite Ismailis reside.

Central Syria is a patchwork of communities, with many minority Christians, and Ismailis and Alawites, both Shiite offshoots. These communities mainly back President Bashar Assad and fear attacks by extremists among the mostly-Sunni rebels fighting to topple him.

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