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More than 100,000 people have been killed since the start of the Syrian conflict, activists claim
- The claim has been made by the Syrian Observatory for Human rights
- They say that more than 36,000 of those killed were civilians
- More than 25,000 government troops have been killed so far
- Just over 13,000 rebels have lost their lives in the fighting
By Steve Nolan
PUBLISHED: 12:57 EST, 26 June 2013 | UPDATED: 03:42 EST, 27 June 2013
The death toll since the start of the Syrian conflict has exceeded 100,000, a group of activists have claimed.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it had tallied a total of 100,191 deaths over the 27 months of the conflict.
But it said that it expects that figure is a conservative one as neither President Bashar al Assad's troops or rebel forces have been forthcoming about the numbers killed.
Deadly war: Activists have claimed that the death toll in Syria has exceeded 100,000 since the conflict there started in March 2011
Bloody: More than 36,000 of those killed in the conflict so far are said to be civilians
Observatory chief Rami Abdul-Rahman claimed that of the dead, 36,661 were civilians, with 25,407 of Assad's troops killed and 17,311 pro government fighters.
The death toll also includes 13,539 rebels, 2,015 army defectors and 2,518 foreign fighters battling against the regime, according to the group.
The United Nations had claimed earlier this month that the death toll stood at 93,000 between March 2011 when the conflict started and the end of April this year.
The figures were revealed as a diplomat claimed that Britain and the U.S have notified the United Nations of 10 different incidents of alleged chemical weapon use by the Syrian government.
The diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because all the incidents have not been made public, said Wednesday that the Americans and British have found no evidence that the opposition possesses or has used chemical weapons.
Syria has refused to allow a U.N. investigation team led by Swedish chemical weapons expert Ake Sellstrom into the country to investigate allegations raised initially by Britain and France and then by the U.S.
Conservative estimate: The group expects the death toll to be even higher as neither President Assad's troops or rebel forces have been forthcoming with casualty figures
Sellstrom was in Turkey Sunday and Monday, reportedly talking to doctors who treated victims of chemical use, and is expected to produce an interim report on his findings, the diplomat said.
Abdul-Rahman said that the group's tally of army casualties is based on information from military medical sources, records obtained by the group from state agencies and activists' own count of military funerals in government areas of the country.
Another source for regime fatalities are activist videos showing dead soldiers killed in rebel-held areas who are later identified.
War torn: More than 13,000 rebel fighters have been killed in the 27 months of fighting so far
Abdul Rahman's claims came hours after the U.N.'s special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said that an international peace conference proposed by Russia and the U.S. will not take place until later in the summer, partly because of opposition disarray.
The fighting has increasingly been taking sectarian overtones. Sunni Muslims dominate the rebel ranks while Assad's regime is dominated by Alawites, an offshoot sect of Shiite Islam.
It has also spilled over Syria's borders, especially into Lebanon, where factions supporting opposing sides have clashed in the northern city of Tripoli and in the eastern Bekaa Valley.
Lebanese are divided over Syria's civil war, with some supporting President Bashar Assad's regime and others backing the opposition. More than 550,000 Syrians have fled to neighboring Lebanon as a result of the fighting.
Earlier this week, sectarian tensions drew Lebanon's army into the fray. Eighteen soldiers were killed in a two-day battle between the army and supporters of a radical Sunni sheik in the southern city of Sidon.
Shocking: According to a UN source, the US and Britain have evidence of 10 instances where chemical weapons have been used by Assad's forces
The army had earlier reported 17 deaths and said today that another soldier died of his wounds in hospital.
The conflict reached the capital Beirut on Wednesday when masked men ambushed a bus and attacked the around 30 people aboard with knives, a Lebanese official said.
He said 10 people were wounded in the attack in the eastern part of the city, including five Syrians, two Palestinians and three Lebanese, the officials said. He spoke anonymously in line with regulations.
Lebanon's state-run National News Agency said the bus was carrying Syrians headed to a TV studio in the eastern Sunday Market district to take part in a cultural program. It said there were eight attackers, who fled the area.