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Syria: hundreds missing after strategic town falls to militants

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By Euronews
Syria: hundreds missing after strategic town falls to militants

<p><strong>Militants from the self-titled group Islamic State have taken control of a strategic town in central Syria.</strong></p> <p>Al-Qaryatain <a href="http://www.weather-forecast.com/locations/Al-Qaryatayn">lies</a> south-east of Homs. It is a staging post on the main route from the IS-held city of Palmyra in the east to the Qalamoun mountain range bordering Lebanon in the west.</p> <p>Observers say it could prove crucial for the group as it pursues its westward advance. </p> <p>The town fell on the night of Wednesday into Thursday after intense fighting between IS forces and Syrian government troops.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="fr"align="center"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">IS kidnaps 230 civilians in central Syria <a href="http://t.co/y3odbz4fcu">http://t.co/y3odbz4fcu</a></p>— The Times of Israel (@TimesofIsrael) <a href="https://twitter.com/TimesofIsrael/status/629575603105038336">7 Août 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Monitors claim hundreds of civilians have disappeared from al-Qaryatain in the two days since it was over-run.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.syriahr.com/en/">UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights</a> says at least 230 men, women and children, including dozens of Christians, have vanished from the town.</p> <p>There has been no news of their fate.</p>