Around 5,000 Killed in Syria in August

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 2 2012 2:38 PM

Activists: Around 5,000 Killed in Syria in August

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Free Syrian Army rebels bring an injured civilian to a clinic after a heavy bombardment in the center of Aleppo on August 14

Photo by BULENT KILIC/AFP/GettyImages

Two activist groups report that the August death toll in Syria’s civil war was around 5,000 people, while U.N. children’s fund UNICEF said the death toll for the last week was 1,600. They’re both the highest numbers reported since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime began 17 months ago, reports the Associated Press. The groups also said that the total death toll of the uprising is between 23,000 and 26,000.

The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a total of 5,440 people, including 4,114 civilians were killed last month, while the Local Coordination Committees claims the death toll included 4,933 civilians.

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Meanwhile, rebels claimed responsibility for planting bombs inside the Syrian army’s General Staff headquarters in Damascus on Sunday, wounding four people, according to Syrian state television that called it a terrorist attack. The attack was a further show of strength for the rebels, a clear demonstration they can still strike at the heart of the capital. But it came on the same day as the army allegedly bulldozed at least 20 buildings in areas of the capital that have provided shelter for insurgents, reports Reuters.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.