Syria’s government said Sunday that ISIS militants slaughtered more than 400 people in an “appalling massacre” committed in the eastern city of Deir el-Zour in daylong attacks that saw the extremists make significant advances in the contested region.
The state-run SANA news agency said that most of those killed in Saturday’s attacks were elderly people, women and children while opposition activists said many of the victims were Syrian soldiers and pro-government militiamen and their families.
The killings are some of the worst carried out by the extremist group, which controls large parts of Syria and Iraq and has killed thousands of people in both countries.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which documents all sides of the Syria conflict through activists on the ground, said late Saturday that at least 135 people were killed. It said around 80 of them were soldiers and pro-government militiamen and the rest civilians.
It added that many of them were shot dead or beheaded.