File photo: Syrian soldiers are seen during a military operation in the desert of Sweida province, on July 11, 2017. (Xinhua)
DAMASCUS, July 25 (Xinhua) -- At least 38 people were killed and 37 others wounded in a series of bombings and attacks that rocked government-held areas in the southern province of Sweida on Wednesday, state media and opposition activists reported.
Sweida locates around 100 km south of the capital Damascus.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said suicide bombers from the Islamic State (IS) detonated bomb vests and explosive devices in Sweida city in tandem with an attack by this terror-designated group on towns in the eastern countryside of Sweida on Wednesday.
Three suicide bombers set off their bomb vests near the grocery market, as well as the roundabouts of Mashnaqa and Najmeh in Sweida city, adding that explosive devices were detonated in the same areas.
State news agency SANA said one bomber detonated himself in the market area, adding that two others were killed as they were hunted down by the authorities.
For his part, Amer al-Ashi, the governor of Sweida, said that two suicide bombers were killed and their explosive devices were dismantled. He added that a third bomber was apprehended alive.
In the northeastern countryside of Sweida, the IS militants launched simultaneous attacks on several towns amid confrontation between the Syrian army and the IS militants in an attempt by the army to restore the points taken by IS, according to the observatory.
The Syrian warplanes are also taking part in striking the IS fighters in the areas where clashes are ongoing northeast of Sweida.
Meanwhile, SANA said the army, with the help of the locals in some of the towns that were attacked by IS in the northeastern countryside of Sweida, succeeded in pushing IS out.
While the countryside of Sweida has witnessed battles between rebels, including IS, and the Syrian army, the city of Sweida has remained largely calm during Syria's seven-year-long war as it is inhabited by people of the Druze minority, which is loyal to President Bashar al-Assad rule.
The IS attacks and bombings in Sweida have come to divert the attention of the Syrian army and release the pressure on the IS-held areas in the nearby western countryside of Daraa province near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
The Syrian army has been relentlessly striking IS positions in the areas of Yarmouk basin in the western countryside of Daraa near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
The army has also been fighting against IS in the northeastern countryside of Sweida, as part of the Battle of the South, which include battles against the rebels and IS in the countryside of Daraa, Sweida, and Quneitra.
With the mediation and help of Russia, the army has already captured 90 percent of Daraa through battles and reconciliations as well as evacuation of rebels.
The rebels in Quneitra near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights have also accepted to leave all their areas toward rebel-held places in northern Syria.
In the eastern countryside of Sweida, some areas in the remote eastern countryside are under IS control.
After Wednesday attack, some tribal leaders in Sweida said hundreds of young men are ready to take part in defeating IS in the areas they stormed in the countryside of Sweida.