World News

UN Says 93,000 Dead in Syria Conflict

The United Nations says nearly 93,000 people have been confirmed killed in Syria's war, although it warns the actual figure is probably much higher.

The U.N. human rights office says the latest toll, which accounted for deaths until the end of April, is most likely a minimum figure.

The U.N. said an average of more than 5,000 people have been killed monthly since last July. Navi Pillay, the U.N.'s top human rights official, said this reflects the "drastically deteriorating pattern of the conflict over the past year."



The report said at least 6,500 children have died in the conflict and documented cases of children being tortured and executed along with their families.

With no letup to the fighting, governments backing opposition forces are considering new ways to support the rebellion against embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with government troops now massing near rebel-held parts of the city of Aleppo.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his British counterpart, William Hague, met in Washington Wednesday to discuss the situation.

Kerry said the danger is made worse by Mr. Assad's allies Hezbollah and Iran and that the U.S. is focusing its efforts on supporting "the opposition as they work to change the balance on the ground."

Activists said Syrian rebels battled government troops Thursday for control of a key military base in central Hama province after chasing soldiers out and setting fire to installations there.

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