With government troops closing in, Islamic State militants entered the Syrian town of Qaryatayn in late September, knowing exactly who they wanted to kill, one former resident said Monday.
Syrian forces, which drove the militants out of the city over the weekend, said that over the last three weeks ISIS killed more than 70 civilians, shooting and beheading them and throwing their bodies into ditches. The former resident told The Associated Press that 35 of the 50 militants who took control of the town last month were originally from Qaryatayn, and they came "with a hit list," targeting victims they claimed collaborated with the government.
A senior Syrian official called the massacre "shocking," and said it would take time to identify all of the dead. The former resident told AP one of his relatives had to walk for miles to find cellphone reception, and called him to say his uncle, two cousins, and another family member had been killed.