Islamic State group militants have reportedly abducted at least 230 civilians in the Syrian province of Homs. The captured civilians include 60 Christians as well.
ISIS, which considers Christians as infidels, kidnapped at least 250 Assyrian Christians, including women and children, in February. The civilians were captured during raids in northeastern Syria. The Islamic extremists have slaughtered Sunni Muslims and religious minorities in the past.
Russia Today reported that ISIS had abducted the hostages in the town of Al Quaryatayn. This is believed to be the largest number of hostages captured by the extremist group since May, when it took over the ancient city of Palmyra.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the abducted Christians included a number of women and children this time as well. The U.K.-based organization keeps record of militant activities in Syria.
The Observatory also confirmed that ISIS militants had raided Al Quaryatayn in western Syria. The town is “strategically important” because it is along the Damascus-Homs Highway. The route is often used to transport fighter and supplies.
Rami Abdurrahman, the executive director of the Observatory, said ISIS had specifically targeted Christians. According to CNN, the militant organization also targeted those who were believed to have alliances with the Syrian government.
At least 500 people have gone missing, but, according to Abdurrahman, the Observatory can confirm about 230 people.
The Mirror reported that it was unclear what ISIS wanted to do with the abducted civilians. It is also unclear what happened to a number of priests who, according to Christian groups, have been abducted by ISIS militants.