Kurdish forces have retaken the key border town of Kobani from militants with the self-declared Islamic State, the second time the Islamist extremists have been ousted from the region this year, according to a British-based monitoring group.

Farther east, ISIS fighters had also attacked the government-held Syrian city of Hasaka.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which keeps close tabs on the situation on the ground, says that ISIS fighters, who are said to have captured the town mere days ago, have been forced to withdraw.

Al-Jazeera quotes an unnamed activist from Kobani as saying that Kurdish forces recaptured the city "and are battling any [ISIS] fighters left inside the town. Mashta Nour hospital has been recaptured."

The unnamed source said that aid, especially water, was urgently needed in Kobani. The activist said, according to Al-Jazeera, that Islamic State militants had killed a total of 300 civilians in the past 24 hours.

It is not known if that number included the scores reportedly killed in a house-to-house massacre of civilians.

As the BBC writes:

"[The Islamic State] launched a surprise assault on the long-contested town on Thursday, reportedly massacring civilians, including women and children."The [Syrian Observatory] says 206 bodies were found, most with bullet wounds."Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.