47 dead as rebels battle Islamic State in north Syria

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A battle between Islamic State group and rebels for control of an opposition stronghold in northern Syria has killed at least 47 fighters, a monitor said Saturday.

Twenty rebel fighters were killed in the clashes in Aleppo province throughout Friday, along with 27 IS militants, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The fighting centred on the town of Marea, a key rebel bastion that IS has been trying to capture for months.

The Observatory said fighting was ongoing around the town, which rebel forces still control, as well in villages in the surrounding area.

Marea is one of the most significant rebel-held towns in northern Aleppo and lies on a key supply route running to the Turkish border.

IS has targeted the town for months, seeking to expand westwards from territory it already holds in Aleppo province.