The Islamic State militants struck before dawn, staging house-to-house raids in a cluster of villages nestled along the Khabur River in northeastern Syria. They abducted at least 70 Christians – many of them women and children – while thousands of others fled to safer areas. The captives’ fate was unclear Tuesday, a day after they were seized, and relatives said mobile phone service was cut off and land lines
also were not going through, adding to the fear and uncertainty about their loved ones. Heavy fighting was reported in the area. The Islamic State group has a history of killing captives, including foreign journalists, Syrian soldiers and Kurdish militiamen. Most recently, militants in Libya affiliated with the extremist group released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians.