Islamic State killed 1,432 Syrians outside battle since June

Islamic State killed 1,432 Syrians outside battle since June
Smoke rises after what activists said was an air raid by Syrian government forces at the eastern Syrian city of Raqqa August 18, 2014.

BEIRUT - The militant Islamic State group has killed 1,432 Syrians off the battlefield since the end of June when it declared a caliphate in the territory under its control, a group monitoring the war said on Monday.

The killings included deaths by beheading and stoning as well as times when the group has slit victims' throats or shot them in non-combat situations. Islamic State, which has seized parts of northern and eastern Syria as well northern and western Iraq, has often displayed bodies in public after the killings.

The hardline group, an offshoot of al Qaeda, said on Sunday it had beheaded an American aid worker in a video issued online, an act which US President Barack Obama described as "pure evil." [ID:nL6N0T60BD]

While it has killed a number of foreigners including journalists and aid workers, the overwhelming number of the group's victims have been from the local population, said Rami Abdulrahman who runs the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The majority -- 882 -- were civilians and included two children and five women, he said, describing killings since June 29 when Islamic State's leader said the group had formed a caliphate.

The children were shot dead separately in Aleppo province. One was accused of taking pictures of an Islamic State headquarters and the other was killed after being accused of insulting the Prophet Mohammad.

The group killed 483 captured members of Syrian pro-government forces in the same period and 63 members of insurgent and Kurdish fighting groups in Syria. It also put to death four of its own members, Abdulrahman added.

The hardline Sunni Muslim group has killed people from across ethnicities and sects in Syria and Iraq. In Syria it killed hundreds of members of the Sheitaat tribe which it had been battling in the east of the country. [ID:nL5N0QM0J4]

In some towns and villages the group has set up courts to administer what it describes as Islamic law before carrying out the killings.


 

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