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Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are seen in Deir al Zor, in this handout picture provided by SANA on September 9, 2017, Syria. SANA/Handout via REUTERS

(reuters_tickers)

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia is to send 175 de-mining engineers to defuse mines in Syria's Deir al-Zor, Interfax news agency quoted Russia's Defence Ministry as saying on Monday.

The first detachment of 40 de-miners has already been deployed to Russia's Hmeimim air base in Syria, the ministry said.

Syrian government forces and U.S.-backed militias converged on Islamic State in separate offensives against the militants in the eastern Syrian province of Deir al-Zor on Sunday.

(Reporting by Polina Devitt; editing by Christian Lowe)

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Reuters