Syria death toll put at over 140,000

February 16, 2014 - 6:21:18 am

Members of Iraqi Shia group Asaib Ahl Al Haq, who support Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, demonstrate an arrest during a military-style training at a camp on the outskirts of Damascus.

BEIRUT: More than 140,000 people, over 7,000 of them children, have been killed in Syria’s uprising-turned-civil war, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said yesterday.

The pro-opposition Observatory said the period since the “Geneva 2” peace talks for Syria began last month had been the bloodiest of the nearly three-year conflict.

The death toll is now at 140,041, according to the Observatory, which is based in Britain but has a network of activists across the country. Among the dead were 7,626 children and 5,064 women.

The revolt against President Bashar Al Assad began as peaceful street protests but transformed into an armed insurgency after a fierce security force crackdown. It has since descended into a civil war with sectarian dimensions.

The Observatory’s toll could not be independently verified by Reuters. 

The United Nations said last month it would stop updating its death count in Syria as dangerous conditions on the ground made estimates impossible to update with accuracy.

The Observatory said all those cases included in its count were those it could document with either names and identification documents, or pictures and videos. It said the fate of tens of thousands more people remained unknown.

The Observatory said it counted more than 30,000 rebels killed and over 50,000 from pro-Assad forces. But the group’s chief, Rami Abdelrahman, said the true toll on both sides was likely much higher — by perhaps more than 60,000.

Groups on both sides try to hide their casualties, he said, making fighter death tolls very difficult to gauge.

REUTERS

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