Islamic State militants have abducted at least 70 Assyrian Christians after overrunning a string of villages in northeastern Syria, two activist groups said Tuesday.
The extremist fighters swept through the Christian Assyrian villages nestled along the banks of Khabur River near the town of Tal Tamr in Hassakeh province around dawn on Monday.
In the assault, the militants took between 70 and 100 Assyrians captive, said Nuri Kino, the head of the activist group A Demand
For Action that focuses on religious minorities in the Middle East. Kino said his group based its information on conversations with villagers who fled the onslaught and their relatives.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the abductions, but put the number of Assyrians held by the Islamic State group at 90. The Observatory relies on a network of activists inside Syria.
Both activist groups said that most of the captives come from the village of Tal Shamiram, located some 85 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of the Hassakeh provincial capital of Qamishli.