At least 32 civilians were killed Tuesday in a surprise Islamic State attack near a refugee camp on the Syrian side of the border with Iraq, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Spokesman Rami Abdel said, “At least five suicide attackers blew themselves up outside and inside the camp for Iraqi refugees and displaced Syrians.”

Kurdish and Syrian sources said many of the victims were residing in the temporary camp after fleeing fighting in areas of Syria and Iraq controlled by IS.

Heavy fighting erupted after the attack between IS militants, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, killing some of the combatants.

The U.S.-supported SDF has taken areas in northern Syria from IS.  SDF most recently captured most of the strategic town of Tabqa in the Euphrates Valley.

Tabqa is an important IS stronghold.  It is about 40 kilometers southeast of Raqqa.

In Iraq, the IS group is fighting for its survival against Iraqi forces and their allies in the neighborhoods it still controls in the western part of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.

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