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Russian airstrike kills 40 Islamic State fighters, including 4 leaders, in Syria

Among the killed were militant leaders Abu Muhammad al-Shimali and Gulmurod Khalimov.

world Updated: Sep 08, 2017 12:30 IST
Associated Press, Beirut
Islamic State fighters,Russian airstrike,IS militants
A still image taken from a video footage and released by Russia's defence ministry on September 5 shows airstrikes, carried out by the Russian frigate Admiral Essen hitting an Islamic State target, in Deir al-Zor province, Syria. (REUTERS)

Russia’s ministry of defense said it has killed four Islamic State group leaders in an airstrike outside the eastern Syria city of Deir el-Zour.

Russian news agencies on Friday quoted a defense ministry statement saying that its intelligence showed the airstrike killed 40 militants. Among them, according to the reports, were militant leaders Abu Muhammad al-Shimali and Gulmurod Khalimov.

Al-Shimaali reportedly headed the movement of foreign fighters into Syria and processed the group’s new recruits.

Heavy clashes are taking place between Syrian government forces and the Islamic State group around the city as militants fight back to reinstate a years-long siege of the city.

President Bashar Assad’s troops on Tuesday broke the nearly three-year militant blockade of parts of the city, marking a significant advance against the extremists.

First Published: Sep 08, 2017 12:30 IST