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Iran Press TV

Militant mortar attack kills Russian soldier in central Syria

Iran Press TV

Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:28PM

The Russian Defense Ministry says one of its servicemen has lost his life after foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants launched a mortar attack in Syria's western-central province of Hama.

The ministry said in a statement early on Wednesday that Captain Nikolay Afanasov was killed by "sudden mortar fire on a Syrian government army camp," noting that he was part of a group of military instructors who were training Syrian soldiers.

Russia has been offering military assistance to the Syrian government since September 2015.

The military assistance, in the form of an aerial campaign and advisory support, came upon a request from the government in Damascus, which has been fighting foreign-backed militancy in the country since 2011.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced on April 11 that two of its servicemen had been killed and another sustained severe injuries following a militant mortar attack.

The statement, however, did not provide any further information about the exact place and date of the attack, nor the identities of the slain servicemen.

On March 6, Russia's Defense Ministry said one of its servicemen had been killed after members of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group mounted an offensive against positions of Syrian government forces in the central province of Homs.

The ministry said in a statement that Private Artyom Gorbunov had been killed in action near the ancient Semitic city of Palmyra, located about 215 kilometers northeast of the capital Damascus four days earlier.

The statement added that the 24-year-old "was guarding a group of Russian military advisers in Syria at the time.

Militant mortar attacks leave five Syrians dead, six injured

Meanwhile, five people were killed and six others injured in a series of mortar attacks carried out by Daesh militants in Syria's eastern city of Dayr al-Zawr.

Syria's official news agency SANA reported that mortar shells fired by militants struck the city's Harabesh and al-Qusour neighborhoods on Wednesday.

Syria has been fighting different foreign-sponsored militant and terrorist groups since March 2011. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimated last August that more than 400,000 people had been killed in the crisis until then.

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