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Extremists Kill 30 Civilians in Captured Northwest Syrian Town – Reports

© REUTERS / Ammar AbdullahNusra Front fighters
Nusra Front fighters - Sputnik International
The Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, seized large parts of Syrian city Jisr al-Shughour on Saturday.

A rebel fighter attends a demonstration celebrating Nusra Front's take over of Idlib about a month ago and calling for the implementation of the Islamic Sharia law, in Al-Sakhour neighborhood of Aleppo - Sputnik International
Al-Qaeda Fighters Break Into Gov't-Controlled Town in Syria
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The militants of the Nusra Front jihadist group killed at least 30 civilians in the town of Jisr al-Shughour in northwestern Syria, Lebanese Al Mayadeen TV channel reported Sunday.

The Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, seized large parts of Jisr al-Shughour on Saturday.

According to the channel, the Syrian army launched a counter-offensive on Sunday forcing the militants to retreat to the northern outskirts of the town. The aim of the military operation is to liberate Jisr al-Shughour.

At the same time, heavy fighting between the militants and government forces began on Sunday 11 miles to the south of Jisr al-Shughour, in the vicinity of Al-Ziyara town, in the province of Hama, Al Mayadeen reported.

A man operates a front loader as he removes debris at a site hit by what activists said were barrel bombs dropped by forces of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, at al-Thawra neighborhood in Idlib city April 20, 2015 - Sputnik International
Assad Denies Using Devastating Barrel Bombs by Gov’t Forces in Syria
Al Arabiya TV channel reported earlier that the armed militants had captured 25 army checkpoints in the western part of Hama province.

Syria has been in a civil war since March 2011. Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces have been engaged in battles on multiple fronts, against the moderate opposition and numerous radical insurgent groups, including the Nusra Front and the Islamic State.

More than 220,000 people have been killed in the fighting over the four years of the conflict, according to UN estimates.

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