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UN puts Syrian civilian death toll at 306,000 since 2011



The United Nations Human Rights office has put civilian death toll in Syria at 306,887 since a conflict broke out in the country in March 2011, adding that the death toll is likely to increase as many civilians are being targeted by security forces loyal to the government.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, who disclosed this on Tuesday in a report, said the Syrian conflict which sprung out of peaceful protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule in 2011 has morphed into a multi-sided, protracted conflict that has seen harmless protesters being targeted by security forces.

“The frontlines have been mostly frozen for years but violence is ongoing and the humanitarian crisis grinds on with millions still displaced within Syria’s borders,” Bachelet said.

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She added that the latest analysis would give a “clearer sense of the severity and scale of the conflict” as the toll included those killed as a direct result of war operations and not those who died from lack of healthcare or access to food or clean water, nor did it include non-civilian deaths.

“The top cause of civilian deaths from so-called multiple weapons is 35.1%, which includes clashes, ambushes and massacres. The second cause of death was by heavy weapons which is at 23.3%,” the UN report added.

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