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Syrian state media say Islamic State militants have launched attack on government-held village

  • An Iraqi soldier searches a for fighters of Islamic State group in Tikrit, 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, March 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

    An Iraqi soldier searches a for fighters of Islamic State group in Tikrit, 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, March 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

  • Iraqi security forces launch a rocket against Islamic State extremist positions during clashes in Tikrit, 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, March 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

    Iraqi security forces launch a rocket against Islamic State extremist positions during clashes in Tikrit, 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, March 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

  • Iraqi security forces and allied Shiite militiamen celebrate in central Tikrit, 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Iraqi forces battled Islamic State militants holed up in downtown Tikrit, going house to house Tuesday in search of snipers and booby traps, and the prime minister announced security forces had reached the city’s center. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

    Iraqi security forces and allied Shiite militiamen celebrate in central Tikrit, 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Iraqi forces battled Islamic State militants holed up in downtown Tikrit, going house to house Tuesday in search of snipers and booby traps, and the prime minister announced security forces had reached the city’s center. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

Syria's state-run news agency says Islamic State militants have launched an attack on a government-held village in central Syria, killing at least eight people and wounding scores.

SANA says soldiers were confronting Tuesday's attack in Mabuja in the east of the central province of Hama.

Meanwhile, websites affiliated with extremist groups claimed the militants "liberated" the village, seizing four checkpoints and killing and capturing dozens of people. The reports could not be immediately confirmed.

Mabouja is about 25 kilometers from Salamiyah, a town in Hama province where many minority Shiite Ismailis reside.

Central Syria is a patchwork of communities, with many minority Christians, and Ismailis and Alawites, both Shiite offshoots. These communities mainly back President Bashar Assad and fear attacks by extremists among the mostly-Sunni rebels fighting to topple him.