ISIS 'executed' nearly 2,000 in Syria since June: human rights monitoring group

BEIRUT (AFP) - The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) extremist group have murdered nearly 2,000 people in Syria - half of them from an important Sunni tribe - since announcing their "caliphate" in June, a monitoring group said Sunday.

"The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has documented the execution by ISIS of 1,878 people in Syria between June 28 when it announced its 'caliphate' and December 27," the group said in a statement.

The Observatory, which relies on a network of activist and medical sources on the ground in Syria, is based in Britain.

It said the victims were shot dead, beheaded or stoned to death in the provinces of Aleppo, Deir Ezzor, Hama, Homs, Hasakeh and Raqa.

Of those killed, 1,175 were civilians who included four children and eight women.

The dead included 930 members of the Shaitat tribe, which rose up against IS in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor in the summer.

On Dec 17, the Observatory said a mass grave containing the bodies of 230 Shaitat had been found in the province.

The extremist group also "executed" 502 soldiers and pro-regime militiamen, the monitoring group said.

It said ISIS also killed around 120 of its own members, mostly for trying to flee to their home countries, and 80 members of the rival Al-Nusra Front, the Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria.

Despite giving a breakdown, the Observatory believes the number killed by IS to be far higher, given that many have disappeared and remain unaccounted for.

The extremist group often records such killings on video and posts footage on the Internet, which experts say is meant to sow fear among civilians and rival groups, as well as to attract new recruits.

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