Islamic State (IS) militants have reportedly executed two boys and strung their bodies up in a village in Syria for failing to fast during the holy month of Ramadan, according to British-based group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
The boys, reportedly both under 18, were found "suspended from a crossbar" near the militant group's religious police headquarters in Mayadin, Deir Ezzor province SOHR founder Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP Monday.
Both children allegedly had signs around their necks claiming they had broken fast "with no religious justification," Rahman said.
Ramadan is a month-long period of fasting, in which participants refrain from eating or drinking or engaging in "other sensual pleasures" from dawn to dusk each day, according to the Council on Islamic American Relations (CAIR). It is observed by many Muslims worldwide, but is only required of those physically and mentally able to do it. It excludes pregnant or nursing women, the elderly, and the sick or mentally ill, among others.
A United Nations report in February found that IS, which has sought to spread its own violent and brutal brand of religion across the region, has been systematically mass-executing and abusing children, which has included by crucifixion, burying them alive, and using mentally disabled youth as suicide bombers and shields in battle in Iraq. Similar reports of the group's activities in Syria have also emerged since the militants began their deadly insurgency in the area in June 2014.
The group has also committed atrocities against captured soldiers, including members of Kurdish forces fighting the group on the ground in Syria and Iraq, as well as journalists, aid workers, and members of the Yazidi minority. some of the killings have been recorded on video and photos and displayed on IS media channels.
On Tuesday, the militants released more footage purporting to show the executions of more than a dozen captives, including by beheading, by rocket-propelled grenade and by drowning. In the video it is claimed that the men are spies working for the Iraqi security force.
In one of the videos, five men were lowered, while in a cage in a swimming pool. In another, militants fired a rocket launcher at four men trapped in a car. Another group of men were decapitated using explosives wired around their necks.