Hundreds killed' in Syria protests during Ramadan
A total of 473 people were killed during protests in the just-ending Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in Syria, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights group said on Wednesday.
The death toll consists of 360 civilians and 113 members of the security forces and army, the group said.
The civilians included 25 people aged under 18, 14 women and 28 who died in detention or under torture mainly in the region of Homs where government forces were reported to be conducting new operations Wednesday.
Almost daily protests have taken place against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad since mid-March, in the face of a crackdown which according to UN figures has killed at least 2,200 people.
The observatory said that the security forces had returned the bodies of 13 people to their families, at least five of whom were still alive when they were arrested in early August.
Amnesty International said in a separate report that it had heard of 88 deaths in custody between April 1 and August 15, including 10 children aged between 13 and 18.
For at least 52 of them, Amnesty said "there is evidence that torture caused or contributed to the deaths," citing signs of violent beatings, burn marks and cuts.
Some had been mutilated "before or after death in particularly grotesque ways apparently intended to strike terror into the families to whom their corpses were returned."
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