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IS blasts in Syria regime heartland kill more than 148

A car in flames at the scene of bombings in the Syrian city of Tartus, northwest of Damascus, on May 23, 2016More than 148 people were killed in bombings claimed by the Islamic State group in northwestern Syria, the deadliest attacks to date in the regime’s coastal heartland. Seven near-simultaneous explosions targeted bus stations, hospitals and other civilian sites in the seaside cities of Jableh and Tartus, which until now had been relatively insulated from Syria’s five-year war. The attacks on strongholds of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime came as IS faces mounting pressure in Syria and neighbouring Iraq, where a major offensive to retake the jihadist-held city of Fallujah is underway.

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