BEIRUT: Clashes erupted between Kurdish forces and Islamic State fighters near a prison in Syria, said Syrian Observatory of Human Rights. The prison where the fighting broke out has dozens of jihadists holed up.
An IS assault on the sprawling Ghwayran prison complex near the northeastern Syrian city of Hasakeh on January 20 sparked days of heavy fighting that has left some 260 people dead, and a bulldozer on Saturday shovelled corpses onto a truck to take some for burial.
The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced they had recaptured the prison on Wednesday, but that mop-up operations continued.
On Saturday, there were "clashes in the vicinity of the prison between the Syrian Democratic Forces and Kurdish security forces on the one hand, and members of IS who are hiding in the area," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The war monitor, which relies on a network of sources inside Syria, said that four IS fighters took a local official and three civilians hostage for hours, holding them in a residential building near the prison.
Kurdish forces later freed the hostages and killed three IS fighters.
An AFP correspondent earlier reported that US troops and Kurdish-led forces surrounded the building and deployed snipers on nearby rooftops, reporting there was intermittent shooting.
The SDF said Wednesday some 3,500 IS members had surrendered, but that holdout IS fighters had barricaded themselves inside the prison facility.