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Syrian activist group says more than 100,000 killed in civil war

The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 100,000 people have died in the 27-month-long conflict that has also displaced millions.

Syria war death toll 93,000Enlarge
Rows of gravestones assembled by Oxfam on June 17, 2013 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, symbolize the 93,00 people killed in Syria. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

More than 100,000 people have died in Syria's civil war, a UK-based watchdog group reported Wednesday, a day after diplomats said Geneva's July peace talks would likely be postponed.

The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights report, based on activists, doctors and lawyers inside Syria, said 100,191 people had died in the 27-month-long conflict.

The Observatory documented deaths from the first casualty in Dera'a on March 18, 2011, to June 6, 2013, the watchdog group said, adding that its estimate did not include "10,000 detainees and missing persons inside of regime prisons."

The latest confirmed toll from the United Nations reported that around 93,000 people have been killed in a conflict that has taken on a harsh sectarian tone, with the rebels Sunni Muslims pitted against President Bashar al-Assad's Alawite-dominated regime.

The Observatory said that of the 36,661 civilians that had died, more than 5,000 of them were children younger than 16 years old.

The Syrian opposition has lost 13,539 fighters, and the Assad regime has lost 25,407 regular soldiers and 17,311 militia. The Lebanese Shia group, Hezbollah, which fights with the Syrian government, has lost 169 members.

The Observatory said in a statement the number dead was likely much higher.

"We also estimate that the real number of casualties from regular forces and rebel fighters is twice the number documented, because both sides are discreet about the human losses resulting from clashes," it said. 

On Wednesday, Assad's information minister accused Saudi Arabia of fueling the war.

"The violence in Syria is being caused by Saudi arms, Saudi money and terrorists linked to Saudi Arabia," Omran al-Zohbi reportedly told Syrian media. Saudi Arabia supports the Sunni rebels. 

The latest casualty numbers follow the announcement from UN's peace envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, that proposed peace conference in Geneva would most likely be delayed.

"Frankly, I doubt that the conference will take place in July," he said, before meeting with US and Russian diplomats. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/130626/uk-based-syrian-activist-group-says-more-100000-killed-civi