Beirut, Mar 12: Seven years of conflict in Syria have left more than 350,000 people dead, according to an updated overall death toll released today by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Britain-based monitoring group, which relies on an extensive network of sources on the ground across Syria, said 353,395 people have been killed since March 15, 2011.
Meanwhile, the United Nations has said that children are at more risk than ever in Syria's devastating conflict as the war approached its eighth year. Twice as many children were killed in the war in 2017 than in the previous year, the UN children's agency UNICEF said in a report.
"In 2017, extreme and indiscriminate violence killed the highest ever number of children -- 50 per cent more than 2016," it said, adding that 2018 was off to an even worse start.
More than 200 children have been killed in bombardment of the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta by Syrian regime and allied forces since February, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The monitoring group says children account for around a fifth of all civilian victims of the assault.