Syrian army continues mop-up ops: Military sources
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The Syrian army continues its mop-up operations against the militants across the country, killing a number of them, military sources say. On Thursday, army troops killed at least seven al-Qaeda-linked militants in Akrad al-Dasnieh village near the western city of Homs. Earlier in the day, troops retook control of the strategic town of Shaba'a near the capital Damascus after heavy fighting. Government forces also discovered several hidden tunnels in the town used by the armed groups fighting against the Syrian government. Meanwhile, a roadside bomb set by militants has left at least ten civilians dead near the Raf'een village on the road between Homs and Misyaf, a city in the Hama Governorate. Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria. In a recent statement, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said the number of Syrian refugees, who have fled the country's 29-month-long conflict, reached two million. The UN refugee agency also said some 4.2 million people have also been displaced inside Syria since the beginning of the conflict in the Arab country.