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Syria army retakes Palmyra citadel, IS number two 'dead'

Smoke rises near Palmyra castle during shelling by Syrian troops on the outskirts of the ancient city of Palmyra on March 24, 2016The Islamic State group suffered a double setback in Syria Friday as army troops recaptured parts of the ancient city of Palmyra and the Pentagon said the jihadists’ second-in-command was killed in a US raid. The seizure by Russian-backed Syrian troops of areas of Palmyra including the hilltop citadel came nearly a year after IS overran the UNESCO world heritage site, most of which remains in jihadist hands. The regime’s gains came after US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin agreed to intensify the drive for a political settlement in Syria.

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