Nearly 93000 people killed in vicious Syria conflict – UN human rights

“The constant flow of killings continues at shockingly high levels – with more than 5,000 killings documented every month since last July, including a total of just under 27,000 new killings since 1 December,” Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human rights, said in a news release. According to an analysis carried out by data specialists on behalf of the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR), at least 92,901 people were killed in fighting between the Government and forces seeking to oust President Bashar Al-Assad between March 2011 and April 2013. “Unfortunately…this is most likely a minimum casualty figure. The true number of those killed is potentially much higher,” said Ms. Pillay, urging the warring parties to declare an immediate ceasefire “before tens of thousands more people are killed or injured.”The latest compilation updates a figure of 60,000 documented deaths during the time period up to 30 November 2012. About 80 per cent of the victims documented are male, with the sharpest increase in deaths since November 2012 in Rural Damascus and Aleppo.The Office also documented the “the killings of at least 6,561 minors, including at least 1,729 children under ten years old.”“There are also well-documented cases of individual children being tortured and executed, and entire families, including babies, being massacred,” Ms. Pillay said, adding that along with the devastatingly high death toll, this is a terrible reminder of “just how vicious this conflict has become.”Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his latest report on the status of children in armed conflicts, cited verified reports that Syrian children are killed or injured in indiscriminate bombings, shot by snipers, used as human shields or victims of terror tactics.“Civilians are bearing the brunt of widespread, violent and often indiscriminate attacks which are devastating whole swathes of major towns and cities, as well as outlying villages,” Ms. Pillay said today noting a “drastically deteriorating pattern of the conflict” confirmed in a report by the Commission of Inquiry on Syria. “Government forces are shelling and launching aerial attacks on urban areas day in and day out, and are also using strategic missiles and cluster and thermobaric bombs,” the UN human right chief said.She added, “Opposition forces have also shelled residential areas, albeit using less fire-power and there have been multiple bombings resulting in casualties in the heart of cities, especially Damascus.”Analysis of the latest death toll was carried out on behalf of OHCHR by the non-profit organization, Human Rights Dana Analysis Group, which compiled datasets from the Syrian Centre for Statistics and Research, the Government of Syria (up to March 2012 only), the Syrian Network for Human Rights, March 15 Group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Syrian Revolution General Council, the Syria Shuhada Website, and the Violations Documentation Centre. Information from the eight different sources resulted in a combined list of 263,055 reported killings, fully identified by the name of the victim, as well as the date and location of the death, OHCHR said. Any reported killing that did not include at least these three elements was excluded from the list.Each reported killing was then compared to all the other reported killings in order to identify duplicates, resulting in 92,091 documented cases of individuals killed.The statistical analysts who produced the report noted that there is “a strong likelihood” that a significant number of killings may not have been reported by all eight sources and that 37,988 reported killings containing insufficient information were excluded from the analysis. read more

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6 things to watch in Sundays final round at the Masters

first_imgTHE BACK 9(Tiger Woods during the third round of the Masters golf tournament – David Goldman/AP/Press Association Images)The saying is the Masters doesn’t begin until Sunday on the back 9, and often it’s true. Tiger Woods believes anyone within six strokes on the back 9 can win, and with 17 players within six shots after the third round it could be a wild finish.____RATING TIGER(Skier Lindsey Vonn watches Tiger Woods on the ninth hole during the first round of the Masters golf tournament – Darron Cummings/AP/Press Association Images)Love him or hate him, you can’t stop watching him, as girlfriend Lindsey Vonn does. Ratings for the Masters would have plummeted had Woods been disqualified for his bad drop. Now he’s in the mix on Sunday, and the cameras will have no trouble finding him.___GUAN’S FINISH(Amateur Guan Tianlang, of China, during the fourth round of the Masters golf tournament – Charlie Riedel/AP/Press Association Images)Guan Tianlang has made a lot of news this week, not all of it good. The 14-year-old from China is the youngest player ever in the Masters, and the youngest to make the cut. He speeded his game up Saturday after being penalised for slow play and it cost him with a 5-over 77.____CABRERA’S MASTERSEvery other year, Angel Cabrera has a Masters to remember. He won in the final group in 2009, played in the final group in 2011, and will be in the final group Sunday with Brandt Snedeker. Can the Argentine win a second green jacket? Stay tuned._____A BIG DAY(Jason Day, of Australia, during the third round of the Masters golf tournament – David Goldman/AP/Press Association Images)Jason Day parred his first 12 holes Saturday and was in the lead after 16 holes before finishing with his only two bogeys of the day. For Day to win his first major title he’ll have to be even steadier under the pressure of Sunday at the Masters. No Australian has ever won the Masters, Greg Norman famously included.RORY MCILROY’S PERFORMANCE(Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, tees off on the fourth hole during the second round of the Masters – David Goldman/AP/Press Association Images)McIlroy gave an honest assessment of his disappointing performance yesterday, saying: “I made a couple of bad errors on the front nine and I was still okay up until that point. I hit a drive to the right on 11 and the wind switched on me and I took seven there and never really recovered. The same thing happened on 15. Very small margins but you pay a big price for them.” Can the Northern Irishman at least end the event on a high?— Tim Dahlberg — http://twitter.com/@APtimdahlbergAdditional reporting by Paul Fennessy‘I’m abiding by the rules,’ insists Tiger Woods>Dos and don’ts: our tips for surviving the final day of the Masters>last_img read more

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