DAMASCUS, Syria, Islamic State militants abducted at least 170 workers at a cement factory in Syria, state-run news reported on Thursday.
Local officials told the State-run Syrian Arab News Agency that witnesses saw about 125 “abducted workers” from Al-Badiyeh Cement Co. being put on buses bound for Islamic State control territory.
As many as 250 workers are missing, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told CNN. The group also said at least 140 workers escaped during the original attack at the factory about 30 miles northeast of Damascus.
The Islamic State’s typically engages in bold acts even after major defeats, like the series they have suffered in giving up Palmyra and Tikrit. at the hands of U.S.-led airstrikes and Shia militia.
There are conflicting numbers on how many were abducted, with SANA reporting as many as 300 workers.
The kidnappings come while diplomatic efforts to end the five-year-long war in Syria and military efforts by the U.S., Syria, Russia and others to rid the embattled country of Islamic State forces have yet to be successful.