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Syria War Death Toll Reaches 470,000

  • VOA News

FILE - In this Oct. 3, 2012 file photo, a man cries while holding the body of his son, killed by the Syrian Army, near Dar El Shifa hospital in Aleppo, Syria.

FILE - In this Oct. 3, 2012 file photo, a man cries while holding the body of his son, killed by the Syrian Army, near Dar El Shifa hospital in Aleppo, Syria.

A new report finds that some 470,000 people have been killed since Syria's civil war began nearly five years ago and that the new casualty figure is nearly twice that of past United Nations estimates.

According to the independent, non-profit Syrian Center for Policy Research, 400,000 Syrians were killed in violence linked to the conflict, while 70,000 people lost their lives because they lacked necessities like adequate health care, housing, sanitation, food and potable water.

The Damascus-based center said 11.5 percent of Syria's population have been killed or injured since the start of the conflict back in March 2011. The figures were reported earlier by Britain's The Guardian newspaper.

The United Nations previously put the number of civilian deaths at 250,000 with 12 million displaced but the newspaper reports that the U.N. human rights office stopped counting the number of dead in mid-2014 due to lack of access to reliable sources of information.

The SCPR said an estimated 1.9 million people have been wounded in the ongoing civil war.

Some 13.8 million Syrians have lost the ability to earn a living. A total of 45 percent of the pre-war population have been forced to move - including more than 4 million who have fled the country and 6.4 million internally displaced, according to the report.

The report is based on a population survey of about 2,100 key informants from 700 studied areas across the entire country, SCPR said in an email. The group cross checks data from a variety of sources with secondary data and third-party research.

A U.S.-led coalition is trying to destroy Islamic State militants in Syria and wants President Bashar al-Assad to go; but, Russia and Iran are supporting Assad by attacking his opponents, including some coalition-backed rebels.

Last year, the U.N. Security Council said Syria had become "the largest humanitarian emergency crisis in the world today, threatening peace and security in the region."

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