Islamic State fighters killed at least 145 civilians in an attack on the Syrian town of Kobani and a nearby village, in what a monitoring group described on Friday as the second worst massacre carried out by the hardline group in Syria.
Fighting between the Kurdish YPG militia and Islamic State fighters who infiltrated the town at the Turkish border on Thursday continued into a second day, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group and a Kurdish official said.
A separate Islamic State assault on government-held areas of the northeastern city of Hasaka was reported to have forced 60,000 people to flee their homes, the United Nations said, warning as many as 200,000 people may eventually try to flee.
Islamic State has a record of conducting large scale killings of civilians in territory it captures in both Iraq and Syria, where it has proclaimed a caliphate to rule over all Muslims according to an ultra-hardline vision of Islam.
The attack on the predominantly Kurdish town of Kobani and the nearby village of Brakh Bootan marked the biggest single massacre of civilians by Islamic State in Syria since it killed hundreds of members of the Sunni Sheitaat tribe last year, Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Observatory, said.
He said 146 civilians had been killed. Kurdish officials said at least 145 had died.