Geneva, Aug 22 IANS | 4 months ago

Over 190,000 people were reportedly killed in Syria between March 2011 and April 2014, according to a UN study released Friday.

The latest analysis, the third in a series commissioned by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), recorded that conflict-related deaths in the restive country were 191,369 during that period, Xinhua reported.

But the report stressed that this total was not the complete number of conflict-related killings in Syria and was "likely to underestimate the actual number of killings", due to the fact that there were 51,953 reported but unidentifiable killings excluded from the analysis, and "a strong likelihood that a significant number of killings may not have been reported at all".

As in the previous reports, the analysis was not able to differentiate between combatants and non-combatants, said the UN human rights office.

The greatest number of documented killings was recorded in the governorate of Rural Damascus (39,393), with the next highest numbers recorded in Aleppo (31,932), Homs (28,186), Idlib (20,040), Daraa (18,539) and Hama (14,690).

Some 85.1 percent of the victims documented so far are male, 9.3 percent are female, while 5.6 percent of the records did not indicate the sex of the victim.

The killings of 8,803 minors, including 2,165 children under 10 years old, have been documented but the real total is likely to be higher, given that in 83.8 percent of the cases the victims' ages have not been recorded.

"With additional killings reported from earlier periods, in addition to the new killings that have taken place, the total is more than double the number documented a year ago," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay announced in a statement.

"Nevertheless, as the report explains, tragically it is probably an underestimate of the real total number of people killed during the first three years of this murderous conflict."

The senior human rights official expressed her deep regret over the diminishing attention of the international community towards the fighting in Syria and its dreadful impact on civilians.

She highlighted the enormous sufferings of the victims and the fact that the volatility in the country spilled over into neighbouring countries such as Iraq and Lebanon.

"The perpetrators of the violence have been empowered and emboldened by the international paralysis," she said, urging governments to take serious measures to halt the fighting and deter war crimes and crimes against humanity.

(Posted on 22-08-2014)

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