93,000 people killed in Syria conflictListen /
Close to 93,000 people have been killed in Syria since the start of conflict in March 2011, according to new data published by the United Nations Office for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Over 80 per cent of those killed were men but the UN Human Rights Office has also documented the killing of over 8,200 children.
UN Human Rights chief Navi Pillay says the killings in Syria continue at shockingly high rates with at least 5,000 killings documented every month since last July.
Ms Pillay says the casualty figure is most likely a minimum and the true number of those killed is potentially higher.
She said there were well documented cases of children being tortured and executed and entire families, including babies, being massacred adding that the only answer to the Syrian crisis is a negotiated political solution.
"Government forces are shelling and launching aerial attacks on urban areas day in and day out, and are also using strategic missiles and cluster and thermobaric bombs. Opposition forces have also shelled residential areas, albeit using less fire-power, and there have been multiple bombings resulting in casualties in the heart of cities, especially Damascus. I urge the parties to declare an immediate ceasefire before tens of thousands more people are killed or injured. Nobody is gaining anything from this senseless carnage. And States with influence could, if they act collectively, do a lot more to bring the conflict to a swift end, thereby saving countless more lives. The only answer is a negotiated political solution. Tragically, shamefully, nothing will restore the 93,000 or more individual lives already lost."
The largest number of documented killings has been recorded in the Governates of Rural Damascus with 17,800 deaths, Homs 16,400 deaths, Aleppo 11,900 deaths and in Idlib 10,300 deaths.
Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.