IS militants push back advancing Syrian troops near Raqqa

A Syria monitoring group says Islamic State militants have successfully pushed back government forces advancing on one of the last towns still in IS hands in the province of Raqqa.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says on Friday that the militants killed a number of government troops and seized their vehicles outside the town of Maadan, toward which government forces have been advancing for days.

IS media channels posted pictures of the attacked Syrian army convoy and bodies of over a dozen soldiers.

The Observatory says at least 34 Syrian soldiers and 12 militants were killed.

Maadan lies along the southern banks of the Euphrates River and is 60 kilometers, or 37 miles, east of the city of Raqqa, where the U.S-backed Syrian opposition forces are battling IS.