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Syria death toll passes 3,500, UN says

More than 3,500 people have died in eight months of anti-government protests in Syria, the UN human rights agency said.

Fresh bloodshed in homsEnlarge
Violence continues in Homs, as 13 civilians were killed Saturday from tank fire. (JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)

The death toll in Syria after months of anti-government protests has passed 3,500 people, according to the United Nations.

The UN human rights office said Tuesday that the civilian deaths were tallied from outside Syria, using sources on the ground, the Associated Press reported.

The figures include the more than 60 people killed since Syria signed an Arab League-brokered peace deal last week, the AP said. Many of the deaths were in the central city of Homs.

More from GlobalPost: Fresh bloodshed in Syria: reports

Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the UN agency, told reporters in Geneva that "the brutal government crackdown on dissent" is to blame for the 3,500 deaths.

"Since Syria signed the peace plan sponsored by the League of Arab States last week, more than 60 people are reported to have been killed by military and security forces, including at least 19 on the Sunday that marked Eid al-Adha," Shamdasani said, according to Reuters

The Syrian government agreed last week to withdraw tanks from cities and halt violence against protesters as part of the peace deal.

But opponents of the regime remained skeptical that President Bashar al-Assad would stick to the agreement, accusing him of stalling tactics.

More from GlobalPost: Syrian troops storm Homs as Arab League warns of "disaster" (VIDEO)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/111108/syria-death-toll-protests-3500-un