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Report: Sept. death toll in Syria is 4,631

  |   Oct. 7, 2012 at 9:54 AM
DAMASCUS, Syria, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- The number of civilian deaths in Syria's civil war in September was 4,631, bringing the death toll to 30,541 since the war began 18 months ago, activists said.

Of those killed in September, 333 were children, 391 were women and 78 succumbed to torture, the Syrian Network for Human Rights reported. The majority of the deaths -- 1,060 -- were in Aleppo in September, although the majority of deaths overall since protests began in March 2011 have been in Homs.

The report said of the total deaths since March 2011, 2,155 were children, 2,310 were women and 884 were attributed to torture. The number of military personnel reported dead is 1,575.

The organization noted that 8.3 percent of the civilian victims in the Syrian civil war have been children, more than four times the number of children killed on average in other wars.

"This phenomenon testifies to the Syrian regime's systematic shelling and killing of civilians," the network said.

Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned Saturday that escalating violence between Syria and Turkey could affect neighboring countries, The Hill reported. The two countries have been trading fire since Wednesday when a Syrian mortar killed five Turkish citizens.

On Sunday, Sheikh Adnan Al Arour, a Sunni Muslim preacher and Salafist leader in Syria announced on Twitter the capture of Syrian President Bashar Assad's cousin.

"Housam al-Assad, the cousin of Bashar has been captured," Arour wrote.

The Free Syrian Army has claimed responsibility for the capture, RIA Novosti reported.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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