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Russia: 160 IS Fighters From Russia Killed In Syria

A Russian deputy foreign minister says 160 Russian nationals fighting for the Islamic State (IS) extremist group have been killed in Syria.

Oleg Syromolotov said on November 19 that out of 2,700 Russian citizens fighting in Syria, 73 have returned and have been convicted and 36 placed under arrest.

He also said that "more than 25,000 foreign mercenaries" were fighting under the IS banner, including from Arabic countries, Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet Union.

Russia launched air strikes in Syria at the end of September to support President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

On November 17, President Vladimir Putin pledged to intensify Russia's bombing campaign after Moscow confirmed that a bomb had brought down a Russian plane over Egypt on October 31, killing all 224 on board.

An affiliate of the IS group had claimed responsibility for downing the jet.

Based on reporting by AP and TASS