Fighters with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Saturday killed at least 135 people, most of them pro-government fighters, in wide-scale attacks on government-held areas of the eastern city of Deir Al-Zour, a monitoring group said.
Independent monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 80 of those killed in the contested city were soldiers and pro-government forces and the rest civilians.
ISIL controls most of the province and provincial capital with the same name, while the government controls a few neighborhoods in the northern part of the city and the adjacent military airport. Most of the casualties took place in the area of Baghaliyeh near the northern tip of the city.
The state news agency SANA said ISIL fighters committed "a massacre," killing dozens of civilians in Baghaliyeh village. It did not elaborate.
The Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen TV, which is close to the Syrian government, also reported a massacre and said ISIL killed 280 people, including women and children, and threw their bodies in the Euphrates River. It said the group took more than 400 civilians hostage.
The reports could not be independently confirmed.
The ISIL-affiliated Aamaq news agency had reported a large-scale multi-pronged attack on Deir Al-Zour that began with a suicide bombing. Opposition activists said Russian warplanes were carrying out intensive airstrikes in support of government forces in the area.
The Associated Press