MIDDLE EAST

NGO: more than 110,000 dead in Syria conflict

A woman holds a placard against the Syrian government during a rally against the governments of Syria and Egypt in central Sydney September 1, 2013. (Reuters)

More than 110,000 people have died in the conflict in Syria since March 2011, a rights watchdog said Sunday, days after alleged gas attacks near Damascus shocked the world.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the toll since the beginning of the 29-month uprising now stands at 110,371 people, with at least 40,146 civilians killed including nearly 4,000 women and more than 5,800 children.

The group, which relies on a network of activists, doctors and lawyers on the ground throughout Syria, said 21,850 rebel fighters had also been killed.

On the regime side, the group reported the deaths of at least 27,654 army soldiers, 17,824 pro-regime militia and 171 members of the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, which has sent fighters to battle alongside the Syrian army.

The group counted another 2,726 unidentified people killed in the fighting throughout the war-torn country up until August 31.

The figures are a testament to the levels of violence wracking the country, which has been ravaged by a civil war that began with peaceful demonstrations calling for regime change.

Compounding the chronic violence, hundreds were killed in an alleged poison gas attack on August 21 that some Western and Arab countries have blamed on the regime of Bashar al-Assad -- a claim it denies.

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Last Update: Sunday, 1 September 2013 KSA 16:03 - GMT 13:03
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