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The garrison at Merv was only about 12,000 men, and the city was inundated with refugees from eastern Khwarezmid. For six days, Tolui besieged the city, and on the seventh day, he assaulted the city. However, the garrison beat back the assault and launched their own counter-attack against the Mongols. |
The garrison force was similarly forced back into the city.
The next day, the city's governor surrendered the city on Tolui's promise that the lives of the citizens would be spared. As soon as the city was handed over, however, Tolui reneged on his promise and slaughtered almost every person who surrendered, in a massacre possibly on a greater scale than that at Urgench.
After finishing off Merv, Tolui headed westwards, attacking the cities of Nishapur and Herat. Nishapur fell after only three days; here, Tokuchar, a son-in-law of Ghengis was killed in battle and Tolui put to the sword every living thing in city, including the cats and dogs, with Tokuchar's widow presiding over the slaughter.