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Russia says it struck nine IS militant targets in Syria over recent 24 hours

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MOSCOW —

Russian military planes did strikes on nine Islamic State sites in Syria over the past 24 hours, the defence ministry in Moscow said on Monday.

The Russian warplanes hit IS command centres, weapon caches, artillery and communication posts in the Homs, Idlib and Latakia provinces of Syria, the ministry said in a statement.

“25 sorties were completed by Su-34, Su-24 and Su-25 jets from the airbase in Hmeimim. Nine IS facilities were struck,” the statement said.

In the northwestern Idlib province the Russian military said it had destroyed a training camp by the city of Jisr al- Shughur, artillery positions near Jabal al-Qobeh and armoured vehicles.

A command centre in the coastal region of Latakia was also hit, while in the Homs province a command centre near the town of Rastan was struck along with two ammunition depots and a communication centre, Moscow said.
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Russia last Wednesday launched airstrikes in Syria and says it is hitting targets connected to IS jihadists in the war-torn country.

The United States and its allies have accused Russia of seeking to buttress its long-standing ally President Bashar al-Assad under cover of a claimed assault on IS.

– AFP

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Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih wins presidency

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MALE — Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has beaten incumbent Abdulla Yameen according to provisional results, the country’s Elections Commission says.

Results released by the Elections Commission showed Mr Solih securing 133,808 votes (58.3 percent) compared to the 95,526 for incumbent Abdulla Yameen. The voter turnout was over 88 per cent out of the 262,000-strong electorate.

The Maldives government has acknowledged the opposition’s victory after the vote on Sunday, a surprise defeat for President Abdulla Yameen who was widely expected to win.

There were no other candidates.

Mr Solih had the backing of a united opposition trying to oust Mr Yameen, but struggled for visibility with the electorate, with local media fearful of falling afoul of heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.

“I call on Yameen to respect the will of the people and bring about a peaceful, smooth transfer of power,” Solih said on television, shortly after interim results from the country’s election commission.

“We have won this election with a comfortable majority,” Solih said.

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