Damascus: At least 57 Al Queda-linked Nusra Front militants were killed Thursday in Syria by the army.
The troops Thursday thwarted an infiltration attempt by the miltant group in the al-Qalamoun region, north of the capital Damascus, killing 57 of them, Xinhua reported citing the SANA news agency.
Earlier this year, the Syrian forces backed by the Lebanese Hezbollah militants succeeded to dislodge the radical rebel groups from all of the towns and villages of the sprawling al-Qalamoun region, located in northeastern Damascus on the borders with Lebanon.
The armed rebels remained in some barren hills of al-Qalamoun and have recently started to launch small-scale attacks against areas in that rugged region but the Syrian troops rendered them all flat.
The Syrian troops have been deadlocked in endless battles with an array of rebel groups, including Al Qaeda-affiliated ones, during the country's long-running conflict that has claimed the lives of over 190,000 people since the crisis erupted in mid-March 2011.