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Islamic State captures central Syrian town near highway to Damascus

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, right, meets with U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura in Damascus, Syria, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. Al-Moallem said "important" points were made during international talks aimed at reviving the peace process but that negotiators failed to convince his government's foes to curb their support for "terrorism." (SANA via AP)

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, right, meets with U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura in Damascus, Syria, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. Al-Moallem said "important" points were made during international talks aimed at reviving the peace process but that negotiators failed to convince his government's foes to curb their support for "terrorism." (SANA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Activists and Islamic State media say the militant group has seized a central Syrian town near a highway leading to the capital.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the extremist group captured Mahin in the central Homs province on Sunday after intense clashes with government forces. Mahin is 25 kilometers (15 miles) east of the highway that links the central province to Damascus.

IS radio al-Bayan says the group also took control of large arms depots in the town.

The Observatory says IS militants have pushed their way west of Mahin, clashing with government troops outside the majority-Christian town Sadad.