Four Russian soldiers have been killed by militants in Syria’s eastern Deir Ezzor province, the defence ministry said on Sunday.
“Four Russian servicemen were killed by militant fire in the Syrian Arab Republic,” a ministry statement said, indicating that another three soldiers were wounded in the incident which took place when “several mobile terrorist groups attacked Syrian government artillery at night”.
Two of them, who were serving as “military advisors” to the Syrian army, were killed on the spot, while two more died shortly afterwards while being treated at a Russian military hospital, the statement said.
Some 43 militants were killed in the resulting clashes, which lasted for around an hour, the ministry said, without saying where the incident took place.
The statement did not say exactly when or where the fighting occurred, although several other reports suggested it may have taken place on May 23, with a monitor saying the Russian toll was believed to be twice as high.
Figures released on Sunday by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said nine Russian soldiers had been killed on Wednesday alongside at least 26 Syrian regime forces an attack in Deir Ezzor by ISIS fighters.