Syrian death toll passes 5,000

Sept. 21, 2011 at 12:00 PM
share with facebook
share with twitter
| License Photo

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Two leading human rights groups put the Syrian death toll at more than 5,300, twice the number of dead estimated by the United Nations.

Syrian human rights groups Avaaz and Insan estimated that 3,004 people were confirmed killed from March 18-Sept. 9. Another 2,356 were registered as dead, though the claims hadn't been verified.

Insan, the United Nations' humanitarian news agency IRIN said, wasn't able to confirm the 2,356 tally because the number wasn't triple-verified, a benchmark of international protocols for recording conflict casualties.

Authorities at Avaaz said 148 children were killed during the violence, with the majority reportedly shot in the upper torso. More than a dozen children showed signs of severe torture, the group reported.

Kang Kyung-wha, deputy high commissioner for human rights, told the U.N. Human Rights Council the death toll in Syria was moving closer to 3,000. Her mission reportedly found "widespread or systematic" human rights violations had occurred at the hands of Syrian security and military forces.

"It is our assessment that the scale and nature of these acts may amount to crimes against humanity," Kang testified.

Despite the alleged atrocities, the U.N. Security Council hasn't issued a formal resolution against Syria, largely because of opposition from veto-wielding Russia.

U.S. President Barack Obama, speaking before the U.N. General Assembly, said there's "no excuse" for inaction on Syria.

Related UPI Stories
Topics: Barack Obama
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories