The Islamic State (Isis) militants have seized a key Syrian town from Bashar al-Assad's soldiers after a series of suicide attacks near Palmyra.
Isis on Thursday took control of the heavily populated Syrian town of Qaryatain near Homs, following overnight clashes.
According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Isis launched three suicide attacks against the Syrian government forces.
After neutralising the soldiers at the Qaryatain border checkpoint, the Isis militants marched into the Syrian town.
SOHR reported that 37 Syrian soldiers and 23 Isis militants were killed in the clashes. According to Syrian media reports, five people, including three children, were killed in the Isis suicide attacks in Qaryatain.
The images posted by Isis sources on social media show three suicide bombers driving trucks loaded with explosives into Qaryatain.
The Syrian town gives Isis a strategic advantage as it is located along a road linking the ancient city of Palmyra with the eastern countryside of Qalamoun, north of Damascus.