Syria unrest death toll soars beyond 3,000: UN rights chief

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Over 3,000 people have been killed in the unrest in Syria since popular protests broke out in mid-March, the UN human rights chief said Friday, urging international action to prevent civil war in the country.

"The number of people killed since the violence started in March has now exceeded 3,000, including at least 187 children. More than 100 people have been reported killed in the last 10 days alone," said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.

The heavy death toll arose from the "sniping from rooftops and indiscriminate use of force against peaceful protestors," noted Pillay.

"The government of Syria has manifestly failed to protect its population," she said.

The international community should therefore step up to do so, urged the UN rights chief.

"The onus is on all members of the international community to take protective action in a collective and decisive manner, before the continual ruthless repression and killings drive the country into a full-blown civil war," Pillay said.

"The international community must speak with one voice and act to protect the Syrian people," she said.

© 2011 AFP

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