Beirut - At least 94 people, five of them children, have been crucified and jailed in Syria by the Islamic State extremist militia for failing to observe the dawn-to-dusk fast in the current Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a monitoring group said on Thursday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that it had documented 94 cases "of crucifying, detention inside iron cages and lashing" in Syrian areas controlled by the militant group.
No deaths have been reported, despite the crucifixions.
Devout Muslims refrain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to sunset in the lunar month of Ramadan, which is expected to end on Thursday, depending on the sighting of the new moon. Children are encouraged to fast starting as young as age 7. It becomes mandatory when they hit puberty.
Also Read: Egypt to revise anti-terror media law
The Britain-based Observatory reported that the offenders had been punished in public squares in the Islamic State strongholds in the provinces of al-Raqqa, Deir al-Zour and Aleppo.
Two children were crucified on June 23 in Deir al-Zour in eastern Syria, according to the watchdog.
The extremist group also detained and paraded caged people, including children, in other areas.
Islamic State has erected large placards in areas under its control in Syria, warning that any individual caught violating the fasting hours of Ramadan "will be crucified one whole day and given 70 lashes."
The al-Qaeda splinter group, which controls swathes of territory in Syria and neighbouring Iraq, applies a radical interpretation of Islamic law in which beheadings, stonings, floggings and crucifixions are carried out.