Syrian opposition puts death toll at 6,275

Jan. 16, 2012 at 1:53 PM   |   Comments

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DAMASCUS, Syria, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- A Syrian revolutionary council claimed the death toll in the country tops 6,200 people since an uprising against the president began last March.

The latest estimate provided last year by the United Nations put the death toll in Syria at more than 5,000 since the uprising against President Bashar Assad began. The so-called General Committee of the Syria Revolution said in a statement issued to London's pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat the death toll as of Monday stood at 6,275 since March 15, 2011.

Assad issued an amnesty for crimes committed since the uprising began, the official Syrian Arab News Agency reports. The revolutionary council said the gesture shows Assad's regime is "in a predicament."

Syria maintains it is dealing with an armed insurgency. SANA reports Brig. Gen. Mohammed Abdul-Hamid al-Awwad was assassinated by "terrorists" Monday.

Damascus allowed a monitoring team on the ground to ensure military forces were off the streets, in terms with an agreement reached last year with the Arab League. Some monitors have since resigned in protest of ongoing violence, however.

The Arab League said it will discuss the findings of the observer mission Sunday.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said during a weekend visit with Lebanese officials in Beirut that it was time to put an end to the bloodshed in neighboring Syria.

"I say again to President Assad of Syria: stop the violence," Ban said in a statement. "Stop killing your people."

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