Reuters International

Iraqi security forces stand with an Islamic State flag which they pulled down in the town of Hit in Anbar province, April 2, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer

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ISTANBUL (Reuters) - U.S.-led coalition airstrikes in Syria killed 48 Islamic State fighters on Saturday, Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency said, quoting the Turkish military.

F-16 and A-10 warplanes killed 44 members of the militant group and injured others in Harjalah, Delha, Baragitah and Hawar Kilis, it said.

Four more members of the hardline Sunni group were killed in separate airstrikes in the Karakopru region. Gun installations and barracks were also destroyed in that attack, it said.

The airstrikes were in response to increasingly frequent Islamic State attacks against opposition forces in northern Syria, Anadolu said, citing national security sources.

The Turkish border town of Kilis, which lies just across the frontier from Islamic State-controlled territory of Syria, has been hit by regular rocket fire in recent weeks.

The Turkish military usually responds with artillery barrages into northern Syria, but officials have said it is difficult to hit mobile Islamic State targets with howitzers. Turkish officials have said they need more help from Western allies in defending the border.

So far, about 20 people have been killed and almost 70 wounded in the rocket fire on Kilis, Anadolu said.

(Reporting by David Dolan; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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