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Syrian army 'prepares IS attack'

The Syrian army is deploying troops in areas near the ancient town of Palmyra in apparent preparation for a counter-attack to retake the city from the Islamic State group.

Governor Talal Barazi of the central province of Homs, which includes Palmyra,said that IS members have "committed mass massacres in the city of Palmyra" since they captured it on Wednesday.

He said IS fighters took civilians, including women, to unknown destinations.

Mr Barazi said "there is planning, God willing, for a military action in the surroundings of Palmyra", adding it is not yet clear when the attack will be launched.

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