Syria death toll at least 93,000, says UN

14.06.2013 04:58

At least 93,000 people have been
killed in Syria since the start of the
conflict, according to latest United
Nations figures.
This represents a rise of more than
30,000 since the UN last issued figures
covering the period to November 2012.
At least 5,000 people have been dying in
Syria every month since last July, the
UN's human rights body says.
But it says these statistics are an
underestimate as it believes many deaths
have not been reported.
Over 80% of those killed were men, but
the UN's Office of the High
Commissioner for Human Rights
(OHCHR) says it has also documented the
deaths of more than 1,700 children
under the age of 10.
There were "cases of individual children
being tortured and executed, and entire
families, including babies, being
massacred - which, along with this
devastatingly high death toll, is a terrible
reminder of just how vicious this conflict
has become," said OHCHR head Navi
The revised toll came the day after a
separate global UN report called the
number of deaths among Syrian children
The study said government forces and
rebels were using boys and girls as
"suicide bombers or human shields".
Children in Syria were suffering "maybe
the heaviest toll" of anywhere in the
world, said UN special representative
Leila Zerrougui, who presented the
findings .
"They are killed, they are maimed, they
are recruited, they are detained, they are
tortured", she told journalists in New
The report accused Syrian troops of
torturing children suspected of having
links to rebel groups.
But it said armed opposition groups,
including the Free Syrian Army, were also
using children, both in combat and in
support roles such as transporting
supplies and loading cartridges.
Ceasefire call
OHCHR'S report said the biggest
numbers of documented killings
throughout the conflict have been
recorded in the governorates of rural
Damascus (17,800 deaths), Homs
(16,400), and Aleppo (11,900).
The sharpest increases in deaths since
November 2012 were recorded in the
governorates which surround Damascus
and Aleppo with 6,200 and 4,800 new
documented deaths respectively.
OHCHR said the toll had been compiled
by a non-profit organisation which
specialises in statistical analysis, using the
following steps:
The list was compiled using datasets
from eight different sources,
including figures from the Syrian
government and activist groups
Each casualty was fully identified by
the name of the victim, as well as
the date and location of the death.
Any reported killing that did not
include at least these three elements
was excluded
Each reported killing was compared
to all the other reported killings in
order to identify duplicates
The analysis was not able to
differentiate consistently between
combatants and non-combatants
OHCHR called for an immediate ceasefire
"before tens of thousands more people
are killed or injured".
Ms Pillay said that "states with influence
could, if they act collectively, do a lot
more to bring the conflict to a swift end,
thereby saving countless more lives".
"Civilians are bearing the brunt of
widespread, violent and often
indiscriminate attacks which are
devastating whole swathes of major
towns and cities, as well as outlying
villages," Ms Pillay said.
"Government forces are shelling and
launching aerial attacks on urban areas
day in and day out, and are also using
strategic missiles and cluster and
thermobaric bombs.
"Opposition forces have also shelled
residential areas, albeit using less fire-
power, and there have been multiple
bombings resulting in casualties in the
heart of cities, especially Damascus," she
went on.
Also on Thursday, mortar rounds hit the
edges of Damascus's airport, forcing
delays to several flights. Syrian rebels
have previously tried to seize the airport,
which lies in the countryside around
eastern Damascus known as the Ghouta.
The area has seen fierce fighting in
recent months.