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More than 500 dead in battle for Syria's Tabqa airport: NGO

An image made available by jihadist media outlet Welayat Raqa on June 30, 2014, allegedly shows members of the Islamic State militant group parading in the street in the Syrian city of RaqaMore than 500 Syrian soldiers and Islamic State fighters died in a six-day battle for Tabqa airport, last stronghold of the Damascus regime in the northern province of Raqa, a monitor said Sunday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 346 jihadists and 25 Syrian troops had been killed in the fighting at the airport since last Tuesday, with another 170 soldiers dying during fierce fighting on Sunday. “One hundred and seventy Syrian soldiers were killed on Sunday in the offensive which led to the IS jihadists seizing Tabqa airport,” the Observatory said in an email to AFP. Syrian state television said troops had staged an “evacuation” of the airport.

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