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Islamic State abducts 400 in Syria, monitor says

CAIRO » Islamic State fighters have abducted at least 400 civilians in eastern Syria after an attack by the Islamic militants in which at least 135 people were killed, a monitoring group said today.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Islamic State moved the seized people from the village of al-Baghaliyeh, outside of Deir al-Zour city, after the attack Saturday.

The attack resulted in the militants’ capture of the village, said the watchdog, which relies on a network of activists in Syria.

“We fear that the 400 will be executed or enslaved by the organization on the pretext that they are loyal to the regime,” said Rami Abdel-Rahman, head of the observatory.

He said the abducted people were mostly families of paramilitaries loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The abductees were taken to Islamic State-controlled areas in Deir al-Zour and the province of Raqqa in northeastern Syria.

The Syrian government sent military reinforcements in an attempt to regain control of al-Baghaliya from hardliners, activists said.

The Britain-based abservatory reported late Saturday that Islamic State had launched an attack on al-Baghaliyeh, where it killed at least 85 civilians and 50 Syrian and allied paramilitary soldiers.

Syria’s state news agency SANA put the death toll at 300, all of them civilians.

Islamic State controls most of the Deir al-Zour province and its capital city of the same name.

The al-Qaida breakaway group has besieged government-held areas in Deir al-Zour city for more than a year.


©2016 Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)

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