At least 60,000 killed in Syria civil war

At least 60,000 killed in Syria civil war

Posted:

Web Producer: Lucy Valencia, Assignment Desk Editor

BEIRUT (AP) - At least 60,000 people have been killed in Syria's civil war, with monthly casualty figures steadily increasing since the conflict began almost two years ago, according to a new analysis released Wednesday by the United Nations.

The death toll is a third more than the figure of 45,000 given by activists opposed to the regime of President Bashar Assad — the first time that the global body's estimates are higher.

It comes as activists report that a Syrian warplane blasted a gas station near Damascus on Wednesday, killing and wounding dozens of people and igniting a huge fire in what could be one of the bloodiest attacks in weeks during the 22-month conflict.

Independent experts compared 147,349 killings reported by seven different sources — including the government — for the study, which was commissioned by the U.N. human rights office.

By removing duplicates they arrived at a list of 59,648 individuals killed between the start of the uprising on March 15, 2011, and Nov. 30, 2012. In each case, the victim's first and last name, the date and the location of his or her death were known.

"Given there has been no let-up in the conflict since the end of November, we can assume that more than 60,000 people have been killed by the beginning of 2013," U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a statement. "The number of casualties is much higher than we expected, and is truly shocking."

The real death toll is likely to be even greater because reports containing incomplete information were excluded and a significant number of killings may not have been documented at all by the sources available.

"There are many names not on the list for people who were quietly shot in in the woods," Pillay's spokesman Rupert Colville told The Associated Press.

The data, which didn't distinguish among soldiers, rebels and civilians, also show that the killing in Syria has accelerated.

During the summer of 2011, shortly after the uprising against Assad began, the monthly death toll stood at around 1,000. A year later, an average of 5,000 were killed each month, the U.N. said.

Most of the killings occurred in Homs, followed by rural Damascus, Idlib, Aleppo, Daraa and Hama. At least three quarters of the victims were male.

"The failure of the international community, in particular the Security Council, to take concrete actions to stop the blood-letting, shames us all," Pillay said. "Collectively, we have fiddled at the edges while Syria burns."

The U.N. rights chief warned that thousands more would die or suffer terrible injuries if the conflict continues, and repeated her call that those responsible for the killings — which in some cases could amount to war crimes — should be held accountable.

"We must not compound the existing disaster by failing to prepare for the inevitable — and very dangerous — instability that will occur when the conflict ends," she said.

"Serious planning needs to get under way immediately, not just to provide humanitarian aid to all those who need it, but to protect all Syrian citizens from extra-judicial reprisals and acts of revenge" like those seen in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Congo, she said.

What began with peaceful protests has evolved into a full-scale civil war in Syria, with scores of armed groups fighting regime forces across the Arab country.

Anti-regime activists said Wednesday that a single Russian-built MiG fighter fired a missile that hit the gas station, setting off an inferno in the eastern suburb of Mleiha. Black smoke billowed from the site. An amateur video posted online showed charred bodies and gruesome carnage at the scene.

Mohammed Saeed, an activist who visited the site, said the missile struck as drivers waited in line with their cars at the station. Syria has been facing a fuel crisis, and people often must wait for hours to get gasoline.

Meanwhile, rebels have been targeting airports, including the Mannagh military helicopter base near the Turkish border.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 

  • Email Alert Sign Up

    Sign up here to receive breaking news stories from KSWT.com and morning updates to your email inbox.

    * denotes required fields


    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.

KSWT-TV Affiliates

Go to KSWT-TV's Facebook page
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Coming soon...Wal-Mart

    Coming soon...Wal-Mart

    On Wednesday the Yuma City Council voted to change the zoning designation on the proposed land acquired by Wal-Mart. The property located near the intersection of Avenue B and 8th Street was the home of a mobile home park as zones for residential use; the new designation changes that to mixed which will allow the new store to move in to the property. The new store will be the fifth Wal-Mart for Yuma County.More >>
    On Wednesday the Yuma City Council voted to change the zoning designation on the proposed land acquired by Wal-Mart. The property located near the intersection of Avenue B and 8th Street was the home of a mobile home park as zones for residential use; the new designation changes that to mixed which will allow the new store to move in to the property. The new store will be the fifth Wal-Mart for Yuma County.More >>
  • Father beats accused child abuser, Daytona police say

    Father beats accused child abuser, Daytona police say

    Police say a Daytona Beach father beat an 18-year-old man unconscious after finding him sexually abusing his son. Authorities say the father called 911 early Friday after he walked in on the alleged abuse.Frolander motionless on the living room floor. He had several knots on his face and was bleeding from the mouth. Police said the father -- who was not identified -- told investigators he walked in as Frolander was abusing the boy. Police did not release the boy's age, but Frolander is charge...More >>
    Police say a Daytona Beach father beat an 18-year-old man unconscious after finding him sexually abusing his son. Authorities say the father called 911 early Friday after he walked in on the alleged abuse.Frolander motionless on the living room floor. He had several knots on his face and was bleeding from the mouth. Police said the father -- who was not identified -- told investigators he walked in as Frolander was abusing the boy. Police did not release the boy's age, but Frolander is charge...More >>
  • National

    Obama warns of delay in social sec. checks and veteran's benefits

    Obama warns of delay in social sec. checks and veteran's benefits

    Web Producer: Lucy Valencia, Assignment Desk Editor WASHINGTON (AP) -- Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits willMore >>
    Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits will be delayed if congressional Republicans fail to increase the government's borrowing authority in a looming showdown over the nation's debt and spending.More >>
  • Arizona struggles with few established teachers

    Arizona struggles with few established teachers

    Education officials in Arizona are grappling with what they say is a shortage of established teachers in public schools across the state.More >>
    Education officials in Arizona are grappling with what they say is a shortage of established teachers in public schools across the state.More >>
  • Yuma citrus grower fights off tree killing disease

    Yuma citrus grower fights off tree killing disease

    A local citrus grower is part of the state wide intensive effort to keep a tree killing disease out of Arizona.More >>
  • Fontana Gruppo: Worldwide Leading Player in Fastener Solutions Acquires Acument Global Technologies

    Fontana Gruppo: Worldwide Leading Player in Fastener Solutions Acquires Acument Global Technologies

    The Fontana Gruppo, an Italian industrial company, today becomes the worldwide leader in providing world-class fastener solutions in the automotive, industrial and related industries as a result of the acquisition, on June...More >>
    The Fontana Gruppo, an Italian industrial company, today becomes the worldwide leader in providing world-class fastener solutions in the automotive, industrial and related industries as a result of the acquisition, on June...More >>
  • Out with the old...

    Out with the old...

    It has been a staple in the Yuma community since the early 70's and the place to meet for the young and old alike. The Southgate Mall now sits on broken asphalt and bares the scares of more than 40 years; decades being passed from owner to owner and now it's set to be torn down to make way for a new more improved shopping center. Today the building has been stripped from within to make way for demolition equipment to tear down the center portion of the mall. Stores like Sear, Burlington and t...More >>
    It has been a staple in the Yuma community since the early 70's and the place to meet for the young and old alike. The Southgate Mall now sits on broken asphalt and bares the scares of more than 40 years; decades being passed from owner to owner and now it's set to be torn down to make way for a new more improved shopping center. Today the building has been stripped from within to make way for demolition equipment to tear down the center portion of the mall. Stores like Sear, Burlington and t...More >>
  • Visual Guide to ANTENNAS

    Visual Guide to ANTENNAS

    Visual Guide to AntennasMore >>