Islamic State militants have killed at least 400 people in Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra, mostly women and children, Syrian state television said Sunday, citing residents.
According to Reuters, opposition activists on social media claimed that hundreds of bodies were in the streets of the city.
Islamic State militants have entered Syria’s historic city of Palmyra, a UNESCO landmark, earlier this week after gaining full control over the city. The UN human rights office said Thursday that one-third of Palmyra’s population of 200,000 have fled the city, although there have also been reports of government forces preventing civilians from leaving until they had abandoned the town themselves.
UNESCO describes Palmyra as a city of “outstanding universal value,” an “oasis in the Syrian desert” northeast of Damascus.
“From the 1st to the 2nd century, the art and architecture of Palmyra, standing at the crossroads of several civilizations, married Greco-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences.”