The UN said the death toll in Syria is rising
At least 60,000 people have died in Syria’s conflict since it began early 2011, the United Nations, UN, Human Rights Commissioner said on Wednesday.
The new figure, far higher than past estimates, was derived from an “exhaustive analysis” that examined broader cases of those believed to have died, the UN said in a statement on Wednesday.
Previous estimates ahead of the new figures stood at 45,000 deaths. The new report says almost nearly three-quarters of those killed on both sides were men.
The result, which followed over five months of analysis, turned up a list of 59,648 individuals reported killed between 15 March 2011, and 30 November 2012.
It showed the death toll had climbed from around 1,000 a month in 2011 to more than 5,000 a month since July 2012.
Most of the killings occurred in Homs (12,560), Damascus and its environs (10,862) and Idlib (7,686), with those three areas accounting for about half the total, followed by Aleppo, Dara’a and Hama.
“Unless there is a quick resolution to the conflict, I fear thousands more will die or suffer terrible injuries as a result of those who harbor the obstinate belief that something can be achieved by more bloodshed, more torture and more mindless destruction,” human rights chief, Navi Pillay, said in the statement.
“This massive loss of life could have been avoided if the Syrian government had chosen to take a different path than one of ruthless suppression of what were initially peaceful and legitimate protests by unarmed civilians,” Ms. Pillay said.
The UN said despite the difficulties of documenting war deaths; it was able to establish the name, the date and place of death of those counted. However, the data could not distinguish between civilians and combatants, it adds.
The new analysis of deaths was based on a study of seven data sets, including one from the Syrian government, conducted on behalf of the United Nations human rights office by Benetech, a nonprofit technology company experienced in analyzing data linked to human rights violations.
Even with the results, the UN says it still believes the actual figures on ground will be far higher.