BEIRUT – Syrian opposition activists and state TV say Islamic State fighters have killed over 40 people in an attack on a central Syrian village.
READ MORE: Canada poised to begin airstrikes in Syria
The extremist group launched an offensive Tuesday on the government-held village of Mabuja in the east of the central province of Hama. State TV said they slaughtered 44 people, including women and children.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the dead included 37 civilians who were either shot dead, burned or stabbed before the militants withdrew.
Central Syria is a patchwork of communities, with many minority Christians, and Ismailis and Alawites, both Shiite offshoots. These communities mainly back President Bashar Assad and fear attacks by extremists among the mostly Sunni rebels fighting to topple him.