ANKARA, Turkey — Fighting in northern Syria between Turkey-backed Syrian rebels and Islamic State militants killed at least 15 rebels as the opposition pressed toward a town of symbolic importance for the extremists, an activist group and Turkish officials said Monday.

The Syrian government continued to strike besieged, rebel-held parts of eastern Aleppo, hitting the area’s largest hospital, according to activists. A monitoring group said more than 400 civilians have been killed in and around Aleppo since the collapse of a U.S. and Russian-brokered cease-fire two weeks ago, mainly in the rebel-held east.

In central Syria, meanwhile, two suicide bombers struck the city of Hama close to an office of President Bashar Assad’s Baath party, killing three people and wounding at least 11, state news agency SANA said. IS claimed responsibility in an online statement.

SANA said a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-packed belt in Hama’s al-Assi Square, and another suicide bomber struck 15 minutes later. One of SANA’s photographers, Ibrahim Ajaj, was wounded as he was covering the explosions, the agency said, adding that he is in stable condition.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the two explosions killed three people and wounded 14.

The death toll among the Syrian rebels near the Turkish border is the highest since Turkey sent troops and tanks into Syria in August to help rebels recapture IS strongholds in the area and curb the advance of a Syrian Kurdish militia, which Ankara views as an extension of Turkey’s outlawed Kurdish separatists.


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