Middle East

Syria death toll 'more than 191,000'

A Syrian man carries a girl amid debris following a air strike by government forces in the northern city of Aleppo on 15 July Image copyright AFP
Image caption Tens of thousands of women and children are among the dead

More than 191,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict up to April, the UN human rights chief says.

Navi Pillay said the figure was "probably an underestimate" and criticised what she called "international paralysis" on the issue.

The figure is more than double the UN estimate given a year ago.

Opposition groups in Syria have been fighting President Bashar al-Assad for over three years, but have lost ground in recent months.

The UN report was based on data from four different monitoring groups and the Syrian government which was then cross-checked.

"Tragically it is probably an underestimate of the real total number of people killed during the first three years of this murderous conflict", Mrs Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said.

"The killers, destroyers and torturers in Syria have been empowered and emboldened by the international paralysis" she added.

The highest number of killings was recorded in Damascus province, with 39,393 deaths, followed by Aleppo, with 31,932.

Both the Syrian government and Syrian rebel groups have been accused of war crimes by the UN.

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Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Civilians in Syria have died from airstrikes, car bombs, shelling and small arms fire