Isis in Palmyra: Militants murder officials in ancient Syrian city

Activists estimate 150 government troops have been killed in two days

Bassem Mroue,Sameer Yacoub
Friday 22 May 2015 19:46 BST
A Syrian policeman patrolling the ancient oasis city of Palmyra
A Syrian policeman patrolling the ancient oasis city of Palmyra (JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)

Victorious Isis fighters searched the Syrian town of Palmyra for government troops today, using lists of names and informers to track them down and shooting some in the head on the spot, said activists who estimated that at least 150 had been killed over the past two days.

Isis was tightening its grip on the town, which it overran late on Wednesday. The Islamist extremists have also imposed a curfew and banned people from leaving town to ensure none of the government figures they are seeking manage to escape.

The door-to-door hunt for opponents was similar to a purge the militants carried out in the Iraqi city of Ramadi after capturing it last week. “The search is going from house to house, shop to shop and people on the streets have to show identity cards,” said Osama al-Khatib, an activist from Palmyra who is currently in Turkey.

The Homs-based activist Bebars al-Talawy and an opposition Facebook page said that as many as 280 soldiers and pro-government militiamen have been killed in Palmyra since it was captured.

Mr Talawy said jihadists abducted soldiers and pro-government gunmen from homes and shops where they had sought to hide, shooting many dead in the streets. Sources said the next Isis target appeared to be the Tayfour air base near Palmyra.

Associated Press

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