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Two Russian servicemen killed in Syria

Moscow says troops serving as instructors died in rebel mortar attack

Illustrative: Russian soldiers gather in the government held side of the embattled city of Aleppo before the start on an evacuation operation of rebel fighters and their families from rebel-held areas on December 15, 2016. (AFP Photo/Stringer)
Illustrative: Russian soldiers gather in the government held side of the embattled city of Aleppo before the start on an evacuation operation of rebel fighters and their families from rebel-held areas on December 15, 2016. (AFP Photo/Stringer)

Russia’s defense ministry said Tuesday that two soldiers acting as military instructors to government troops in Syria had been killed by rebel forces.

“Russian professional servicemen who were in a unit of Syrian forces as instructors…came under a mortar attack from a group of rebel fighters,” the defense ministry said in a statement quoted by Interfax news agency.

“As a result of a mortar explosion, two Russian servicemen died.”

Medics were fighting to save the life of another Russian serviceman wounded in the attack, the ministry said.

It said the two killed were training Syrian soldiers in marksmanship along with a Russian military advisor.

The latest deaths take the toll of soldiers killed in combat in Syria officially acknowledged by the defense ministry to 29. Another soldier committed suicide during the first month of the operation.

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