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UN: 'Well Over' 7,500 Killed In Syrian Fighting


A Syrian girl waves an opposition flag during an antigovernment protest in Al-Qusayr on February 27.

A Syrian girl waves an opposition flag during an antigovernment protest in Al-Qusayr on February 27.

The chief UN political affairs officer, Lynn Pascoe, has told a Security Council review session that the number of people killed in the fighting in Syria is estimated to be "well over" 7,500.

Pascoe said on February 28 that "there are credible reports that the death toll now often exceeds 100 civilians a day, including many women and children."

Pascoe said the number of internally displaced people is between 100,000 and 200,000 and that some 25,000 Syrians have fled to neighboring countries and are registered with workers from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Pascoe said the failure of the international community to take stronger measures was sending the wrong message to the Syrian regime.

"Actions and inactions to date have seemed to encourage the regime in its belief it has the impunity to carry on wanton destruction of its own civilians," Pascoe said.

In Geneva on February 28, United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay said the situation in Syria is "dire" and called on President Bashar al-Assad's regime to declare an immediate "humanitarian cease-fire."

Pillay, speaking to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, urged Assad's regime to grant access to independent international observers and humanitarian teams.

Syrian delegates walked out of the meeting, calling it a "sterile discussion."

The rights council was considering a draft resolution condemning Syria's crackdown. Meanwhile, government forces continued to bombard Homs and other opposition areas.

Photographer Paul Conroy from Britain's "Sunday Times," injured last week in Homs by government artillery, was evacuated to Lebanon on February 28.

But the French presidency retracted its statement that injured French journalist Edith Bouvier also had made it to Lebanon.

Based on Reuters and AFP reports
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