Islamic State influence rising in Syria: Russian defense minister

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - The influence of Islamic State is increasing in Syria, where militants control around 70 percent of the country, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday. The number of IS fighters in Iraq and Syria numbers around 60,000, and there is a threat of violence spilling over into post-Soviet Central Asia, said Shoigu, speaking at the ministry's annual collegium event. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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