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1,100 killed in Syria, rights organisations say

The death toll from Syria's crackdown on pro-democracy protesters has exceeded 1,100 in the last two months, a prominent human rights group said on Tuesday. Rights campaigners added that soldiers have been shot for refusing to fire on civilians.


REUTERS - Syrian troops and security forces have killed at least 1,100 civilians in their two-month campaign to crush pro-democracy demonstrations, Syrian human rights organisation Sawasiah said on Tuesday.

Sawasiah said it had the names of the 1,100 people who it reported were killed mostly in the southern Hauran Plain region, where the uprising erupted on March 18.

The death toll rose sharply after street protests grew in number and spread out from the south, prompting a military crackdown, Sawasiah said.

The rights organisation, founded by jailed human rights lawyer Mohannad al-Hassani, said it had reports of another 200 civilians deaths, but did not have names.

Syrian authorities have blamed most of the killings on “armed saboteur groups” backed by Islamists and outside powers who they say have killed more than 120 soldiers and police.

Rights campaigners say some soldiers have been shot by security agents for refusing to fire on civilians.

Syria has barred most international media since the protests broke out two months ago, making it difficult to verify accounts of the violence.



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