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At least 39 killed in rebel-jihadist clashes in north Syria

ISIS militants have seized several towns and villages from rival Islamist groups in the Syrian province of Aleppo

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At least 39 fighters were killed on Wednesday in fierce clashes between Syrian rebels and jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo, Agence France-Presse reported an NGO as saying.

“At least 31 rebel fighters and eight Islamic State fighters were killed in clashes that ended with the jihadist group taking control of six villages in Aleppo province,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

ISIS militants have seized several towns and villages from rival Islamist groups in the Syrian province of Aleppo Reuters reported, citing a monitoring group.

The advances by ISIS, already in control of large areas of northern and eastern Syria, will pave the way for further westward advances. Its latest gains include the towns of Turkmen Bareh and Akhtarin, 50 km (30 miles) northeast of Aleppo, the Beirut- based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reported.

A Twitter feed reporting events in Akhtarin said two people had been killed while "resisting" Islamic State's advance, including a 16-year-old boy. There was no way to verify the report.