Landmines planted by the Islamic State group on Monday killed seven Syrian regime fighters in the Badia desert, a Britain-based war monitor said.
At least two mines exploded as a government patrol passed through the Jabal al-Aamour area of the central Homs province, killing five soldiers and two allied fighters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Eighteen more were wounded, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.
The jihadist group overran large parts of Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014, but several military offensives led to it losing its so-called "caliphate" more than two years ago.
The extremists however continue to carry out hit-and-run attacks in the vast Badia which runs from the Damascus outskirts to the Iraqi border.
Syria's war has killed more than 388,000 people and displaced millions from their homes since starting in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.
The New Arab