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Wednesday, 29 February 2012 - 8:14
Syria death toll passes 7,500, UN says
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A senior United Nations official says more than 7,500 people have died in Syria since security forces launched a crackdown on dissent last March.

Under-Secretary-General for political affairs Lynn Pascoe said there were "credible reports" the toll often exceeded 100 civilian deaths per day.

Syrian forces pounded residential areas in Homs and elsewhere yesterday, killing scores, activists reported.

Meanwhile, a UK journalist hurt in Homs last week, was smuggled to safety.

The UN's new estimate of the number of deaths came at a meeting of the UN Security Council.

The Syrian government says at least 1,345 members of the security forces have been killed combating what it calls "armed gangs and terrorists", and puts the number of civilians killed at 2,493.

Meanwhile, in Washington, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that President Bashar al-Assad fitted the definition of a war criminal.

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