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Militants attack bus in desert, kill five troops

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (AP) – Militants attacked a bus carrying soldiers on a desert highway in central Syria, killing five troops and wounding 20, state media reported yesterday.

The state news agency SANA said the attack happened on Sunday night in a government-controlled area. The report quoted an unnamed official saying the militants launched rockets at the bus travelling in the Palmyra desert, then followed it with gunfire from an anti-aircraft gun.

The official blamed Islamic State (IS)militants for the attack. IS militants have been active in southern and central Syria, despite losing territorial control in the country since 2019.

SANA said attacks on buses travelling down the highway linking central Syria to the east are common, alleging that United States (US) troops deployed there are facilitating the attacks.

Assad’s government has repeatedly leveled such accusations against US and coalition troops based at al-Tanf. US troops have maintained a limited presence in Syria to train and work with Kurdish-led Syrian forces and opposition fighters in counter-terrorism efforts.

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