Middle East

More than 2,000 killed in Syria since start of Ramadan: activists

Syrian volunteers pack food for distribution to the poor and displaced during the "Go Away Hunger" charity campaign in the fasting month of Ramadan, near Umayyad Mosque in old Damascus July 22, 2013. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri

BEIRUT: At least 2,014 people, most of them fighters on both sides, have been killed in Syria's civil war since the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan began on July 10, activists told AFP on Thursday.

More than 1,323 of the dead were pro- and anti-regime fighters, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The overall "toll has been particularly high in the past four days", Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said, adding the

He said that both sides "concealed the real number of dead so the real toll is actually higher".

The figure for the slain pro-regime fighters included 438 army troops, while 69 were members of the regime's paramilitary National Defence Force, the Britain-based Observatory said.

On the rebel side, 545 were civilians who took up arms and joined the revolt, 30 were men who defected from the regime army, and 241 were foreign and unidentified fighters.

The dead also included 639 civilians including 105 children and 99 women, most of them killed in army shelling, said the Observatory.

An additional 52 unidentified corpses were accounted for in the Observatory's toll.

The Observatory says more than 100,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict so far, which began after President Bashar al-Assad's regime unleashed a brutal crackdown against a March 2011 popular revolt calling for change.

The United Nations estimates that some 5,000 people a month are dying in Syria's civil war.





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