60,000 killed in Syrian war, says U.N.

The Guardian reports: At least 60,000 people have died in Syria’s conflict, the UN human rights commissioner has said, citing an “exhaustive” study which has sharply increased the number of those believed killed.

Before the latest UN-commissioned survey it had been estimated that up to 45,000 people had perished during the conflict; the up-to-date calculation increases the death toll by a third.

The revised estimate came as it was reported that dozens had been killed on Wednesday after a government war plane bombed people queuing at a petrol station in a suburb of Damascus.

According to the UN report, almost three-quarters of those listed as killed on both sides of the conflict were men. Estimating casualties is a notoriously difficult process in the midst of an ongoing war, but in this case the UN says it has established the name, place and date of death of each of those it says it has counted.

The real death toll is likely to be greater because reports containing incomplete information were excluded and a significant number of killings may not have been documented at all.

“There are many names not on the list for people who were quietly shot in the woods,” said Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the human rights commissioner, Navi Pillay.

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