The Islamic State militant group has executed 700 members of a tribe it has been battling in eastern Syria during the past two weeks, the majority of them civilians, a human rights monitoring group and activists said on Saturday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has tracked violence on all sides of the three-year-old conflict, said reliable sources reported beheadings were used to execute many of the al-Sheitaat tribe, which is from Deir al-Zor province.

The conflict between Islamic State and the al-Sheitaat tribe, who number about 70,000, flared after the militants took over two oil fields in July.

“Those who were executed are all al-Sheitaat,” Observatory director Rami Abdelrahman said by telephone from Britain. “Some were arrested, judged and killed.”

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