UN: True Number Killed in Syria a 'Shocking' 60K

Dozens killed in gas station attack today
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2013 1:19 PM CST
UN: True Number Killed in Syria a 'Shocking' 60K
This image from Shaam News Network, authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a wounded man at the site of a Syrian government airstrike on a gas station Jan. 2, 2013.   (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video)

A new UN analysis finds that at least 60,000 people have died in the Syria conflict, a "much higher" number than was expected and one that is "truly shocking," says the UN human rights commissioner. The exhaustive, months-long study compiled data from seven sources to come up with a list of 59,648 names as of November. And because fighting has continued, it's safe to say that number is now above 60,000, Reuters reports. (That's slightly higher than the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam War.)

The last UN estimate, in May, had the death toll at more than 10,000. This new estimate finds that deaths were at 1,000 per month in the summer of 2011, but had risen to more than 5,000 per month by this past summer. And the violence continued today with what may have been one of the worst attacks so far, al-Jazeera reports: Dozens were killed when a Syrian warplane fired a missile at a gas station near Damascus where people were waiting in line to fill up their cars. (More Syria stories.)

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