20 Sep 2011

UN: Syria death toll tops 2,700

Syrian security forces have killed 2,700 people since anti-government protesters started six months ago, the United Nations human rights office said. "As of today, 2,700 people, including at least 100 children, have been killed by military and security forces since mass protests erupted in mid-March," Kyung-wha Kang, deputy UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said on Monday.

syrian child

She said "the scale and nature of these acts may amount to crimes against humanity" and that her office was prepared to send its confidential list of 50 suspects linked to those crimes to the International Criminal Court, if the UN Security Council refers the situation in Syria to the Hague-based court.

She called on President Bashar al-Assad's government to co-operate with an international inquiry into the bloodshed so as to ensure accountability for all violations and to "break the culture of impunity in the country". Assad has repeatedly said Syria is facing a "foreign conspiracy" and has blamed most of the deaths on "armed criminals".

More on Al Jazeera English - Syria Live Blog