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ISIL displaces 30,000 people in eastern Syria: activists
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an al-Qaida-splinter group, has rousted as many as 30,000 people from an eastern Syrian town after recently capturing it, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Sunday.
The people were forced out of their homes over the weekend and sought refuge in nearby areas in Deir al-Zour province, said the report.
Shahel, a town in eastern countryside of Syria's oil-rich Deir al-Zour province, was a stronghold of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, which has been deadlocked in battles against the ISIL.
The Nusra Front withdrew from Shahel after many rebel groups there pledged alliance to the ISIL.
Meanwhile, almost all of the oil fields in Deir al-Zour province have fallen in the hands of the ISIL, except for one field in its countryside, said the report.
The ISIL has recently proclaimed the establishment of an " Islamic Caliphate" straddling Syria and Iraq, and changed its name into the "Islamic State."
The group led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who commands tens of thousands of fighters, said their goal is to establish an Islamic state in Iraq and Syria to fight the Shiite government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and that of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose top ranks are from the Alawite minority, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.
[Source: Xinhua, Damascus, 06Jul14]
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