In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrians inspect the site of a suicide attack in Sweida, Syria, Wednesday, July 25, 2018. Syrian state media say dozens of people have been killed in a suicide attack in the country's south, blaming the bombing on Islamic State militants. (SANA via AP)

Death toll in devastating IS attacks in Syria climbs to 216

July 26, 2018 - 2:58 am

BEIRUT (AP) — A Syrian government official says the death toll from coordinated attacks the previous day by the Islamic State group on a usually peaceful southern city and surrounding countryside has climbed to 216.

It's the worst violence to hit the area since the country's conflict began. Mass funerals were underway for the victims on Thursday.

Hassan Omar, a local health official in Sweida province, said on Thursday that at least 150 people were wounded in the attacks; some of them were in critical condition.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at 246, including 135 civilians and 111 members of local militias who fought IS militants who swarmed their villages.

The attack on the villages coincided with suicide attacks in the provincial capital earlier in the morning.

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