March bloodiest month so far in Syria uprising
BEIRUT — March was the bloodiest month of the Syrian uprising, with more than 6,000 documented deaths, a pro-opposition human rights group reported Monday.
More than one-third of those killed were civilians, including nearly 300 children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based organization with monitors in Syria.
For months the Syrian conflict has seen daily death tolls topping 150 as government shelling and aerial bombardments have increased amid ongoing clashes between loyalist forces and rebel fighters.
The observatory reported that more people were killed in March alone than in the first nine months of the uprising, which began two years ago as peaceful antigovernment protests but turned into a civil war.
The group acknowledges that the March toll probably will be much higher, possibly twice as high, as the tally doesn’t include those who may have died while in detention or those kidnapped and killed by either side.
The actual death toll of the conflict is unknown as access for journalists and outside observers has been severely restricted by the government of President Bashar Assad.
The observatory has documented more than 62,500 deaths, half of them civilians. The United Nations estimates that more than 70,000 people have been killed so far.
The U.N. figure relies mostly on documentation by opposition groups and probably doesn’t include the deaths of most government soldiers and militiamen.
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