Middle East

At least 1,870 die during Geneva talks

A Syrian man walks amid debris and dust following an alleged air strike by Syrian government forces on January 31, 2014 in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. (AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED AL-KHATIEB)

BEIRUT: At least 1,870 people died across Syria during the first nine days of the “Geneva II” peace negotiations that began in Switzerland on Jan. 22, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday.

The Britain-based monitoring group said more than 470 of the dead were civilians, including 40 people who died from malnutrition or physical ailments in areas besieged by government forces.

The Observatory said the other civilian casualties resulted from government airstrikes and barrel bombs. Snipers, shelling and rocket attacks from both sides caused the remaining deaths.

More than 600 rebels, including foreigners fighting with the Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), were killed in clashes with pro-government forces, the Observatory said. The violence also claimed the lives of more than 500 Syrian army and pro-government militias, while more than 200 fighters were killed in battles between ISIS and rebel groups.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 01, 2014, on page 1.




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