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Syrian Conflict Death Toll Tops 90,000, UN Says

Scott Peterson/Getty Images(GENEVA) -- The two-year-long conflict in Syria has claimed the lives of more than 90,000 people, according to new study out Thursday by the United Nations.

The U.N. says 92,901 individuals were killed in Syria between March 2011 -- when Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began a government crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators -- and the end of April 2013.

While that figure is a significant jump from the 60,000 deaths the U.N. reported in an earlier study, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says the number of casualties is likely "much higher."

“The constant flow of killings continues at shockingly high levels -- with more than 5,000 killings documented every month since last July, including a total of just under 27,000 new killings since 1 December,” Pillay says in a statement.  “Unfortunately, as the study indicates, this is most likely a minimum casualty figure.  The true number of those killed is potentially much higher.”

The study doesn't break down specifically who is dying -- government forces or demonstrators -- but it finds that 82.6 percent of the victims are male.

And while close to three-quarters of the reported killings don't mention the victim's age, “the killings of at least 6,561 minors, including at least 1,729 children under ten years old -- have been documented,” Pillay says.

He adds, “There are also well-documented cases of individual children being tortured and executed, and entire families, including babies, being massacred -- which, along with this devastatingly high death toll, is a terrible reminder of just how vicious this conflict has become.”

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