Anti-Assad monitoring group says Syrian death toll passes 130,000

BEIRUT Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:36pm IST

Related Topics

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The death toll in Syria's civil war has risen to at least 130,433, more than a third of them civilians on both sides of the conflict, but the real figure is probably much higher, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday.

The conflict in Syria began in March 2011 as peaceful protests against four decades of rule by President Bashar al-Assad's family, but turned into an armed insurgency whose sectarian dimensions have reverberated across the Middle East.

The anti-Assad Observatory, based in Britain but with a network of sources across Syria, put the number of women and children killed in the conflict so far at 11,709.

It said the death toll among rebels fighting the Assad government was at least 29,083.

Deaths among the Syrian armed forces and fighters supporting Assad were at least 52,290, including 262 fighters from the Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah and 286 from other non-Syrian Shi'ite groups.

Both Sunni and Shi'ite militants from the region have joined the fight on opposite sides.

Many Sunni Muslim nations support the rebels, who are led by Syria's Sunni majority. Shi'ite Muslim states back Assad, who is from the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ism.

The Observatory said at least 17,000 people are being held in government prisons while more than 6,000 government supporters are in the custody of Islamist rebels.

It said the actual number of people killed and imprisoned is likely to be at least 50,000 higher, but said it could not verify those cases because the identities of the victims were hidden or missing.

The United Nations does not give regular casualty counts for Syria and has said for months that more than 100,000 have been killed. (Reporting by Stephen Kalin; Editing by Louise Ireland)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Korean Boat Tragedy

Family members of a missing passenger onboard the South Korean ferry Sewol which capsized on Wednesday, look at the sea as they wait for news from a rescue team, at a port in Jindo April 19, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Sunken Korea ferry relatives give DNA swabs to help identify dead

Relatives of some of the more than 200 children missing in a sunken South Korean ferry offered DNA swabs on Saturday to help identify the dead as a rescue turned into a mission to recover the vessel and the bodies of those on board.  Full Article 

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Everest Tragedy

Everest Tragedy

Death toll climbs in worst tragedy on Everest  Full Article 

Missing Plane

Missing Plane

Current underwater search for Malaysia plane could end within a week  Full Article 

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Putin welcomes new NATO head, says better ties with West possible  Full Article 

Japan Military

Japan Military

Japan expands army footprint for first time in 40 years, risks angering China  Full Article 

Journalists Released

Journalists Released

Kidnapped French journalists found on Turkey's Syrian border   Full Article 

Papal Message

Papal Message

Pope Good Friday service underscores plight of the suffering.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage