Syria's civilian death toll "well over 7,500": U.N.

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 28, 2012 11:58 AM

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations on Tuesday said "well over 7,500 people" have been killed in Syria during an 11-month government crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, raising its previous estimated death toll by nearly a third.

U.N. Under-Secretary-General for political affairs Lynn Pascoe told the U.N. Security Council that the firepower of the opposition forces appeared to be minimal compared to the heavy weapons being used by the Syrian army.

"While we cannot give exact casualty figures there are credible reports that the death toll now often exceeds 100 civilians a day, including many women and children. The total killed so far is certainly well over 7,500 people," Pascoe said.

The outside world has been powerless to halt the killing in Syria, where repression of initially peaceful protests has spawned an armed insurrection. Russia and China have twice used their vetoes to block any action by the U.N. Security Council.

Pascoe's comments came as France announced that there would be a third attempt by the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution on Syria, this time specifically to address the humanitarian crisis.

(Editing by Vicki Allen)