Tuesday, December 13, 2011
UN: Death toll in Syria over 5000
The call for a general strike was largely followed on Monday. Above: Areeha, Idlib province.
Under: Hama, vegetable market.
More than 5,000 people are now believed to have been killed in the Syrian government's crackdown on protests, the United Nations rights chief has told the UN Security Council.
The UN's Navi Pillay said on Monday there were reports of increased attacks by opposition groups on President Bashar al-Assad's security forces but highlighted "alarming" events in the besieged protest city of Homs, according to diplomats in the closed meeting.
More than 14,000 people are estimated to have been detained and at least 300 children are among the dead, Pillay told the 15-member council. She estimated that at least 12,400 have fled into neighbouring countries since the anti-government protests erupted in March.
Pillay noted that the last time she briefed the council on Syria, in August, the death toll was at about 2,000.
Syrians voted on Monday in municipal elections, which was meant to be a first step in further reaching reforms. But the elections were a failure with almost nobody participating. Instead in many parts of the country a general strike was observed, with businesses closed and children kept home from school in several parts of the country in a show of civil disobedience.
Yesterday the death toll was at least 20. In Homs, activists said at least four civilians were killed by tank fire on Sunni Muslim districts, where the strike held and voting was largely boycotted.
The Local Coordination Committees, an activist organization, said security forces killed another 16 people elsewhere in Syria, including in villages around Homs and in the northwestern province of Idlib on the border with Turkey.
The shelling of cities continued, in Homs as well as - in this video - in Hama.
More and more fights between het 'loyalist'' army and defectors are reported. Also more and more units of defectors are formed, like this one in the Damascus area.