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US soldiers have been killed in an apparent suicide bombing in northern Syria claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group, the US military says.

IS said a militant had detonated an explosive vest next to a US patrol in the Kurdish-held town of Manbij.

Three US soldiers, two local security officers and 13 civilians died, a Kurdish news agency reports.

US forces are in Manbij to back Kurdish and Arab fighters who have driven IS out of almost all of eastern Syria.

Wednesday’s attack took place at a restaurant near Manbij’s main market.

The US troops were at the restaurant to meet members of the Manbij Military Council, a witness told Reuters news agency.

It cited the head of Manbij’s health committee as saying that 18 people had been killed, including three of the soldiers, and that another 18 had been wounded.

Later, a spokesperson for the US-led multinational coalition against IS tweeted: “U.S. service members were killed during an explosion while conducting a routine patrol in Syria today. We are still gathering information and will share additional details at a later time.”

Reuters cites a US official as saying four soldiers died and three were wounded.




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