The word abatían is the imperfect form of abatir in the third person plural.
See the full abatir conjugation

abatir

El mar se agitó durante la tormenta y levantaba olas enormes, las cuales se abatían sobre nuestro barco.
The sea churned and rose up into huge waves during the storm, which then crashed down on our boat.
Uno de mis primos fue asesinado; otro vio cómo abatían a tiros a todos los miembros de su familia.
One of my cousins was slain; another saw all his family members gunned down.
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