More than 40 people died over the weekend after Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, fighters raided a Syrian town with an Alawite majority, that being the sect to which President Bashar al Assad belongs, the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday.
Among the victims are 21 civilians, 10 of whom belonged to the same family, and 20 pro-government militia fighters, the London-based group said.
The people were killed after ISIL fighters entered Maan, a town in the central province of Hama.
The human rights group, however, did not explain how the victims lost their lives.
The Syrian regime, meanwhile, confirmed the deaths of 10 women in Maan at the hands of "terrorist groups," as the authorities call armed opposition fighters.
The attackers burned and destroyed the homes of dozens of people, the official news agency, Sana, added, citing officials with the provincial government of Hama.
The ISIL, the main opposition Islamist alliance, announced within the past few hours via the Internet that it had taken control of Maan on Sunday in cooperation with combatants from other anti-government brigades.
The reports have not been able to be independently verified due to the restrictions imposed by the regime and the insurgents on journalists working in Syria.
The Syrian conflict has been taking on a more sectarian tone since it broke out in March 2011. EFE