ISIS re-enters Syria Kurdish battleground town Kobane

ISIS re-enters Syria Kurdish battleground town Kobane
A file picture taken on March 27, 2015, shows people walking along a conflict damaged street in the Syrian town of Kobane.
PHOTO: AFP

BEIRUT - Islamic State group fighters reentered the Syrian Kurdish battleground town of Kobane on Thursday, detonating a suicide bomb and battling Kurdish forces, a monitoring group said.

"IS detonated a suicide bomb in the area near the border crossing with Turkey, killing at least five people," said Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman.

"Fierce clashes erupted afterwards in the centre of the town and there are bodies lying in the streets," he added, without giving a specific toll.

He said fighting was still raging on Thursday morning.

IS battled for some four months to seize Kobane but Kurdish fighters backed by US-led air strikes secured control of the border town in January in a symbolic defeat for the jihadists.

In the months since, forces of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) have advanced from Kobane in Aleppo province into neighbouring Raqa province, the jihadists' stronghold.

In recent days, they captured the strategic town of Tal Abyad, also on the border with Turkey, and pushed towards IS's de facto Syrian capital of Raqa city in the Euphrates valley to the south.

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