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UN: Syrian death toll now more than 100,000

Posted By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   July 25, 2013 at 1:10 PM   |   Comments

July 25 (UPI) -- United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon raised the death toll in Syria on Thursday to more than 100,000, and called on the Syrian government and opposition to end the violence.

The Secretary General said it is "imperative to have a peace conference in Geneva as soon as possible."

The latest numbers for the 2.5 year conflict are up more than 7,000 from just a month ago. The U.N. believe its statistics underestimate deaths due to underreporting. A further 1.7 million Syrians are estimated to have fled to neighboring countries.

"There is no military solution to Syria," said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. "There is only a political solution."

Kerry said he talked to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday, and both countries will continue efforts to convene an international conference in Geneva to agree on a transitional government agreed to in Geneva last year.

"We will try our hardest to make that happen as soon as is possible,'' Kerry said.

Also on Thursday, Syria's state-run news agency reported a car bomb exploded in a suburb of the capital, Damascus, with 10 people killed and dozens injured. The explosion reportedly caused heavy damage to nearby buildings, in a neighborhood supporting the government of President Bashar Assad.

The conflict began with protests against decades of Assad family rule, which turned violent after government security crackdowns.

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