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UN Says Syria Death Toll Nears 70,000

The United Nations says the death toll from nearly two years of fighting in Syria is nearing 70,000.

U.N. Human Rights commissioner Navi Pillay made the announcement in a statement to the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday. Pillay announced just last month that the toll had reached 60,000.

The Security Council has been deadlocked on a response to the Syrian crisis, with permanent members Russia and China vetoing three resolutions against the Syrian government.



Meanwhile, Syrian activists say rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad have captured a military air base in northern Syria, a day after seizing control of the country's largest hydro-electric dam.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Tuesday the rebels were in control of the al-Jarrah air base in Aleppo province. News services said the rebels seized for the first time a fleet of deployable warplanes including MiG fighter jets.

The opposition Local Coordinating Committees said the air base was taken after fierce clashes with government forces. The group also reported fighting Tuesday at another military airport in Aleppo.

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