Entries in Death Toll (14)


UN Puts Death Toll from Syrian Conflict at 60,000

BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The United Nations high commissioner for human rights announced on Wednesday that the death toll from the conflict in Syria that began in March 2011 now exceeds 60,000 victims.

This represents a huge increase in killings from a report issued by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights earlier this week that put the death toll from 22 months of fighting at 45,000.

U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay called his organization's casualty count "truly shocking" and heaped most of the blame on President Bashar al-Assad for what started as a crackdown on groups calling for democracy in Syria that evolved into a full-scale, sectarian civil war.

Pillay said the U.N. conducted an "exhaustive analysis" of the violence based on seven data sets, putting the number of dead at around 59,650 as of the end of November 2012.  He indicated that the escalating hostilities last month certainly pushed the death toll well past 60,000.

Three cities alone -- Homs, Damascus and Idlib -- accounted for about half of those killed in the nearly two-year-long battle for control of Syria.

Pillay said he was concerned the death toll will grow much higher if there is no resolution to the crisis that major foreign powers seem powerless to stop.

However, the U.N. official was not letting them off the hook, lamenting, "The failure of the international community, in particular the Security Council, to take concrete actions to stop the bloodletting, shames us all."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


US Death Toll in Afghanistan Reaches 2,000

U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Dexter S. Saulisbury(NEW YORK) -- It's very possible that the 2,000th U.S. service member to die in the war in Afghanistan did so at the hands of an Afghan soldier.

The New York Times reports that the death toll of American forces reached 2,000 late last week at a time when "insider" attacks were taking the lives of U.S. soldiers.

According to the Times analysis, over half of the U.S. fatalities in Afghanistan occurred during the past 27 months.  That's the period that President Obama ordered troop levels bolstered from 67,000 to 100,000 to combat a resurgent Taliban.

However, the Pentagon began a gradual withdrawal of forces late last year that has returned numbers to the pre-surge levels.  The eventual plan is to withdraw all American and NATO troops by sometime in 2014.

While the total number of coalition deaths in the 11-year war exceeds 3,100, Afghans have suffered the majority of the conflict's fatalities.

Afghan security forces have lost 6,500 members since 2001, while the number of civilian deaths exceeds 13,000.  There are no figures for enemy dead.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


June's Death Toll in Iraq Already Exceeds Last Month's Fatalities

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) -- June stands to be the most violent month this year in Iraq as at least 13 more people were slain Monday, including nine young soccer players and fans near a field south of Baghdad.

Local police in Hilla said that a powerful car bomb detonated during a game that also left 32 people wounded.  Meanwhile, another explosion Monday 60 miles north of the capital killed four people and injured seven others.

It's believed that al Qaeda's front group, the Islamic State of Iraq, is responsible for the latest string of violence this month in Iraq that has claimed at least 173 lives.

Last month, authorities reported 132 deaths throughout the country.  Iraqi officials say that political unrest between the Shiite-run government and minority Sunnis and Kurds contributes to the unstable environment in Iraq.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Cruise Ship Wreck: Woman’s Body Found, Death Toll Rises to 17 

Laura Lezza/Getty Images(GIGLIO, Italy) -- The body of a woman was recovered Saturday from the half-submerged cruise ship that ran aground on Jan. 13, bringing the death toll to 17, according to the Italian civil protection agency.

The woman is believed to be a crew member, according to Italian authorities.

Fourteen of the 17 bodies have been identified, and 15 people are still missing.

Nearly 4,200 people were on board the ship when it ran aground off the Tuscan island of Giglio.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Syria Death Toll Rising Above 4,000, UN Official Says

KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images(GENEVA) -- The United Nations says that more than 4,000 people have been killed in almost nine months of violence in Syria.  The High Commissioner for human rights said that though they are placing the death toll at 4,000, they believe the actual number is much higher.

Commissioner Navi Pillay also characterized the uprising as a civil war, a term that has been much debated to describe what's happening in Syria.  Pillay said that she's calling it a civil war because more and more army defectors are threatening to take up arms against President Assad's regime.

On Thursday, the U.S. and European Union tightened sanctions on the Syrian Real Estate Bank and the Military Housing Establishment as well as two close associates of President Assad, according to Voice of America. With these new additions to the list of individuals and entities blacklisted from the U.S. financial system, some officials familiar with the matter say the departure of the Syrian president is almost certain.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Search Continues for Turkey Earthquake Victims as Death Toll Tops 300

ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images(ISTANBUL, Turkey) -- As devastating as Sunday's earthquake was in southeastern Turkey, there is hope that the death toll in the two towns hardest hit by the disaster won't be as high as previously thought.

Rescue efforts picked up Monday as crews frantically used whatever equipment and manpower was available to sift through the rubble in Van and Ercis, where most of the 366 deaths have occurred.

Over 1,300 people were injured when the magnitude 7.2 temblor struck Turkey, a seismic region where earthquakes are common.

Despite this fact, buildings are often not built up to code, which explains why so many Turks were killed or badly hurt by Sunday's quake.  It's believed that more than one thousand structures collapsed.

Still, people trapped for more than 24 hours were being pulled out alive from the debris on Monday, giving their rescuers some semblance of optimism that others survived the catastrophe.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


UN: Death Toll in Syrian Uprising Exceeds 3,000

AFP/Getty Images(GENEVA) -- More than 3,000 Syrians have been killed since the uprising began there seven months ago, according to the United Nations high commissioner for human rights.

That death toll includes at least 187 children and over 100 people who were killed in the last 10 days, Navi Pillay said in a statement Friday.

"Since the start of the uprising in Syria, the Government has consistently used excessive force to crush peaceful protests...The result has been a devastatingly remorseless toll of human lives," Pillay said.

Along with the number of deaths, Pillay noted that "thousands have been arrested, detained, forcibly disappeared and tortured" since the movement began in March.

"The Government of Syria has manifestly failed to protect its population," she said.

Pillay continued, "all members of the international community to take protective action in a collective and decisive manner, before the continual ruthless repression and killings drive the country into a full-blown civil war."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Death Toll from Japan Earthquake, Tsunami Tops 13,000

Sankei via Getty Images(TOKYO) -- Japan’s National Police Agency says the death toll from last month’s devastating earthquake and tsunami now stands at 13,498, with 14,734 others still missing.

On Thursday, workers searching for the missing moved for the first time to within six miles of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.  The searchers are wearing white outfits to shield them from radiation that has leaked from the facility since the twin disasters.

Japanese media reports about 1,000 bodies may be within the six-mile zone surrounding the nuclear plant.  Search crews had stayed away because of high radiation levels, but authorities ordered them to recover bodies before they become a health hazard and impossible to identify.

Japan’s Trade Ministry says it has ordered the operators of the damaged nuclear power plant to pay approximately $12,000 to each household forced to evacuate because of radiation leaks.  A Trade Ministry spokesman said approximately 48,000 households within 19 miles of the plant would be eligible for payments from the Tokyo Electric Power Company.

Meanwhile, Japanese doctors have urged workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant to have their blood stem cells stored, in case they're exposed to life-threatening levels of radiation.

In a letter to the medical journal The Lancet, the doctors said it made sense to store blood from the hundreds of workers fighting to save the plant because the process to completely shut down the reactors could take years, during which time the risk of accidental radiation exposure will accumulate.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Death Toll in Japan Climbs to over 10,000

Sankei via Getty Images(TOKYO) -- The death toll in Japan continues to rise two weeks after the earthquake and tsunami struck the country, with the latest report confirming over 10,000 fatalities, according to Japan's National Police Agency.

The agency also announced Friday that more than 17,000 people are still missing.

Hope for finding survivors of the March 11 disasters dwindles as each day passes.  It’s expected that the number of fatalities will eventually exceed 20,000.  Some police estimates have already put the death toll at 18,000.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of survivors remain homeless, living in evacuation shelters after being displaced by the quake.  Thousands more have limited water supplies or are still without power.

The Japanese government estimates that damage from the natural disasters could possibly climb to $310 billion.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Japan Death Toll Could Surpass 10,000

YOMIURI SHIMBUN/AFP/Getty Images(TOKYO) -- Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Sunday called this crisis the most difficult for the nation since World War II. His spokesperson, Nori Shikata, did not estimate the possible death toll, but told ABC News that he expected the current number of 1,000 confirmed dead "will be increasing very quickly."

A state of emergency was declared at the Onagawa nuclear power plant Sunday, located in the hard-hit Miyagi prefecture, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported.  The police chief estimated that there could be 10,000 deaths in that area alone.

Officials from the Tohoku Electric Power Company said that higher than normal radioactivity readings prompted the heightened alert. The emergency is at level one, the lowest state of emergency.

Meanwhile, Japanese authorities are frantically working to prevent a meltdown at a series of nuclear reactors 156 kilometers away in Fukushima.

The international community has offered support in the form of humanitarian and military assistance. The U.S. alone has already sent two USAID teams, and several naval war ships to assist in search and rescue missions. The biggest challenge is delivery and acceptance of that aid, and deciding where and how to direct assistance.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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