Activists: Syria Conflict Death Toll Hits 150,000

BEIRUT (AP) -

The death toll in Syria’s three-year conflict has exceeded 150,000, an activist group said Tuesday as fighting raged across the country, including an attack in the north that killed at least 31 people including 9 children.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that it has documented 150,344 deaths in the conflict that started in March 2011. The figure includes civilians, rebels, and members of the Syrian military. It also includes militiamen, fighting alongside President Bashar Assad’s forces and foreign fighters battling for Assad’s ouster on the rebels’ side.

In January, the U.N. said it had stopped updating its own tally of the Syrian dead because it can no longer verify the sources of information that led to its last count of at least 100,000 in late July.

Of the 150,344 people who died in the conflict, about a third, 51,212, were civilians, including 7,985 children and 5,266 women, The Observatory said. The number also includes 26,561 rebel fighters and 35,601 Syrian soldiers as well as 22,879 Assad-loyal fighters and 11,220 foreign fighters battling on the opposition side. The number also includes 2,871 unidentified casualties.

On Tuesday, The Observatory said fighting was concentrated in several opposition-held suburbs of the capital, Damascus, and the northern province of Aleppo, Syria’s largest urban center and its commercial hub.