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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 September 2005, 20:52 GMT 21:52 UK
Syrian troops 'battle Islamists'
Syrian security forces have clashed with Islamist militants in Hasaka, north-eastern Syria, killing one and detaining two others, reports say.

The Syrian authorities have so far refused to comment on the reports, from human rights activists in the region.

The incident came days after Syrian forces killed five alleged members of the militant group Jund al-Sham in a gun battle in the north-west.

The authorities accuse the group of planning bomb attacks in Damascus.

The group's activities have been monitored by security forces since it said it had carried out a bomb attack on the Egyptian Sinai resort of Taba in October last year which killed 34 people.

The group was also responsible for a suicide bombing on a theatre in Qatar in March which killed a British teacher, it said.

Correspondents say Syria has been under pressure in recent months to close its long eastern border with Iraq, to stop militants from crossing it to join the insurgency there against the US-led coalition.

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