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BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian government forces seized a village in Quneitra province on Sunday, their first advance against insurgents in the region adjoining the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights since launching a major offensive in the southwest, a war monitor reported.

The village of Mashara, about 11 km (7 miles), from the Golan frontier was captured after heavy shelling, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Government forces also shelled the town of al-Haara in neighbouring Deraa province, it said. The government, backed by the Russian military, has captured most of Deraa province in the offensive that began in June.

(Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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Reuters