December 10, 2016 / 7:28 PM / in 10 months

Islamic State militants capture most of Palmyra -Syria monitor, rebels

AMMAN, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Islamic State militants on Saturday captured most of Palmyra after penetrating Syrian army defences and securing strategic heights around the ancient city in eastern Syria following a surprise assault, a monitoring group and rebels said.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said there were fears for the lives and safety of civilians inside the city because many of them were pro-government supporters.

Rebels and the war monitor said with the exception of the southern parts, most of the city was now in the hands of the militants who had waged an attack on several fronts.

Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi, editing by David Evans

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