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More than 200 killed in coordinated suicide attacks in Syria

By
Daniel Uria
More than 200 people were killed in a series of suicide attacks in Syria on Wednesday, local health officials said. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks. Photo by SANA/EPA
More than 200 people were killed in a series of suicide attacks in Syria on Wednesday, local health officials said. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks. Photo by SANA/EPA

July 25 (UPI) -- More than 200 people were killed in a series of attacks in Syria on Wednesday, government officials said.

The attacks targeted the city of Sweida and surrounding areas in south-west Syria, where director of health for the surrounding Sweida province said at least 215 people had been killed in the attack, The Guardian reported.

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About a dozen people are also believed to have been kidnapped.

Ahed Mrad, a journalist from Sweida, said the attacks took place almost simultaneously between 3:50 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.

"They attacked homes in a coordinated attack. They knocked on doors, and then entered the homes and killed people in there," Mrad said. "A lot of victims fell before any bullet was fired because they were going into the homes and slaughtering people silently, at dawn, without anyone being aware."

The Islamic State took credit for carrying out the attacks, the BBC reported. The group also launched two suicide attacks on the provincial capital.

The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported that government authorities killed two suicide bombers before they detonated their vests.

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The attacks came after the Syrian government launched a campaign to retake areas in the southern parts of the country that remain under rebel control, with Russia's assistance.

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