The extremist Islamic State group today executed at least 30 civilians, including two children, in a raid on a regime-held village in Syria’s central province of Hama, a monitor said.
IS “executed at least 30 people, including women and children, by burning, beheading, and firing on them” in the village of Mabujeh, said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Syrian state television said government forces had “blocked a terrorist attack” on the village, but did not report any casualties.
Mabujeh, east of the provincial capital Hama, has a population of Sunni Muslims as well as Alawites and Ismailis, minority sects that are offshoots of Shiite Islam.
IS has regularly targeted minority sects in Syria, especially Shiite Muslims it accuses of apostasy, as well as Sunnis who it alleges have violated its interpretation of the religion.
Mabujeh lies near a vital road that serves as the regime’s only link between the central province of Homs and the northern province of Aleppo.
IS militants have repeatedly tried to sever the route.
In late March, the extremist group killed 83 regime soldiers in the region in a bid to gain control over the road.