Fierce fighting in Islamic State-held Syrian city

File photo: Smoke rises from the al-Mishlab district at Raqqa's southeastern outskirts, Syria June 7, 2017. (Reuters photo)

BEIRUT -- US-backed Syrian fighters are clashing with Islamic State militants in the heart of Raqqa, the extremists' self-styled capital, as scores of civilians flee areas controlled by the group.

The Syrian Democratic Forces, aided by the US-led coalition, launched their offensive to capture the city on June 6, and have since taken several areas.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Monday's fighting is concentrated in the southwestern neighbourhood of Yarmouk and the Old City.

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