Syrian death toll now approaching 93,000, according to UN
True number is potentially much higher, says human rights commissioner Navi Pillay
A Free Syrian Army fighter works on the grave of a fellow fighter who he said died in an explosion from a bomb planted by the Syrian regime in Deir al-Zor this week. Photograph: Reuters
PARIS - Civilians are bearing the brunt of the fighting in Syria, Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said yesterday, with 92,901 killings documented there through the end of April, a number that may understate the magnitude of the violence that has devastated the country for 25 months.
But an analysis done on behalf of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights shows that “this is most likely a minimum casualty figure. The true number of those killed is potentially much higher”, she said.
The study was based on reports of 263,055 killings. Any reported killing that did not fully identify the victim by name, date and the location of death was excluded, to avoid the possibility of duplication.
“This extremely high rate of killings, month after month, reflects the drastically deteriorating pattern of the conflict over the past year,” Ms Pillay said.
“Government forces are shelling and launching aerial attacks on urban areas day in and day out,” she said, and are also using strategic missiles and cluster and thermobaric bombs. Opposition forces have also shelled residential areas, albeit using less firepower.
Ms Pillay said the killings of “at least 6,561 minors, including at least 1,729 children under 10 years old” were also documented, and that there were “well-documented 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.” – (New York Times)