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A rebel fighter holds his rifle as he poses in front of a Soviet-made tank T 55 tank abandoned by the pro-Syrian regime forces in the Christian village of al-Yaqubia in northern Syrian, on February 2, 2013. A renewed global push to iron out sharp differences over how to end the conflict in Syria after the foreign minister of close Damascus ally Russia held his first direct talks with Syria's opposition leader. AFP PHOTO/AAMIR QURESHI (Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)

2 Russian troops killed in shelling in Syria

The Russian defense ministry says two Russian troops have been killed in shelling in Syria’s east.

The ministry’s statement quoted by Russian news agencies late on Monday said the two men died when a convoy escorting Russian cease-fire monitoring staff came under mortar fire outside the eastern city of Deir el-Zour.

The ministry said one man died on the spot and the other died later of wounds in a hospital.

Russia has been providing air cover for Syrian President Bashar Assad’s offensive against Islamic State group militants since 2015. The Russian defense ministry said Monday that Russian jets had made 80 flights to back Assad’s offensive on Deir el-Zour, a key city that has been under IS siege for three years.

Source: ABC News

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