'Death toll in Syrian civil war closing in on 40,000 mark', says opposition group
The opposition group in Syria has said that the death toll in country has hit nearly 40,000 as the civil war in the nation continues.
Homs and Damascus are the deadliest places in Syria, according to an opposition group that keeps a running total of those whose lives came to a bloody end in 20-month armed conflict.
The Violations Documentation Center said that of the 37,387 who have perished since fighting began, 6,992 were killed in Homs and 6,750 in the suburbs of Damascus. The total number includes 3,061 government soldiers, which the group only recently started to include in its count, CNN reports.
Meanwhile, Russia's Foreign Ministry published harsh criticism in its active Twitter feed about the recent show of support by the United States, France and Arab states around the Persian Gulf for fighters trying to topple Assad.
"The Syrian opposition has been given a false signal, strengthening the positions of extremists, including terrorists," a tweet read, while the ministry said the decision went against international principles on Syria established in Geneva.
The conflict in the war-torn nation raged on Thursday in Syria's perpetual flashpoints with no sign of losing intensity, and killing continues to drive civilians to flee over the country's borders, the report said.
The U.N. refugee office says 414,838 Syrians are in neighboring countries registered as refugees or waiting to register, while Turkey has the single highest number, with 114,944, the report added.