Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 27th 2017 Contents A26 world
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areas after siege
BEIRUT --- Syrian government forces and their
allies have captured a wide area from the Islamic
State group in the country's center, two days
after besieging it, an opposition monitoring
group and a Syrian military arm said yesterday.
The government-controlled Syrian Central Mili-
tary Media and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory
for Human Rights said troops and their allies were
in control of the area between the central town of
Sukhna and Shaer to the west. On Thursday, troops
surrounded the area of 2,000 square kilometres (772
square miles) in the Syrian desert, widely referred
to as Badia.
In recent months, Syrian troops and allied mili-
tiamen have advanced on three fronts against Isis
under the cover of Russian airstrikes. One of their
main targets is the contested eastern city of Deir el-
Zour, where the militants have imposed a siege for
years on a small government-held pocket.
SCMM said military experts are now dismantling
explosives left behind by the extremists in Badia.
Isis once controlled nearly half of Syria, but has
been driven back by an array of Syrian forces, includ-
ing a Kurdish-led force backed by US-led airstrikes.
Now Isis controls less than 30 per cent of Syria and is
expected to lose more in the coming months.
In the country's north, where one of the govern-
ment attacks is taking place, a Syrian journalist was
killed yesterday while covering the fighting with Isis.
Syria, which has been mired in a complex civil war
for more than six years, is one of the most dangerous
places for journalists. The New York-based Commit-
tee to Protect Journalists says 14 were killed in 2016
alone. The latest death brings this year's toll to four. AP
SRINAGAR --- Four police officials, four para-
military soldiers and two suspected militants
were killed yesterday after anti-India rebels in
Kashmir stormed a heavily guarded police camp
in the disputed Himalayan region, triggering
day-long fighting, police said.
Heavily armed gunmen entered the camp in south-
ern Pulwama town early yesterday firing guns and
grenades at the sentry, said Director-General of police
SP Vaid. In the initial attack, a policeman was killed
and four other personnel, including a paramilitary
soldier, were wounded.
Vaid said police and paramilitary soldiers responded
to the attack while a reinforcement of army soldiers
and counter-insurgency police encircled the camp. In
the ensuing fire fight inside the camp, three police-
men and four paramilitary soldiers were killed, Vaid
said. He said government forces evacuated dozens
of police families.
Another police officer, speaking on condition of
anonymity in keeping with department policy, said
troops recovered the bodies of two suspected mili-
tants. One building also was torched in the fighting.
No rebel group immediately claimed responsibility
for the attack.
As the fighting raged, hundreds of residents, mostly
young men, hit the streets in Pulwama in solidarity
with rebels while demanding the end of Indian rule
over Kashmir and chanting pro-militant slogans.
Government forces fired tear gas, resulting in
clashes with protesters, who hurled back rocks at the
troops. No one was immediately reported injured in
Nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan each ad-
minister part of Kashmir, but both claim the territory
in its entirety. Rebel groups demand that
Kashmir be united either under Pakistani
rule or as an independent country.
Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kash-
mir's mostly Muslim population and most
people support the rebels. Nearly 70,000
people have been killed in the uprising and
the ensuing Indian military crackdown.
India accuses Pakistan of arming and
training the rebels, which Pakistan denies.
Kahsmiri protesters clash with Indian army
soldiers in Pulwama yesterday. At least two
gunmen attacked a police camp in the town
and 10 people, including the attackers, were
killed. PHOTO: DAR YASIN
10 killed as rebels
storm police camp
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