93,000 dead and counting

worldburyingsyriandead DAMASCUS — 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 per cent of those killed were men, but the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights 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 Pillay.

The revised toll came the day after a separate global UN report called the number of deaths among Syrian children “unbearable”.

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 York.

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. (BBC)

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