More Than 300 Killed in Syria's "Bloodiest Day" Yet

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 27 2012 9:55 AM

Yesterday Was the "Bloodiest Day" in a Very Bloody 18 Months in Syria

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Syrian rebels of Al-Ansar brigade patrol in a street of Aleppo, on Sept. 25, 2012

Photograph by Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images.

A human rights group says that yesterday was the "bloodiest day" yet in the ongoing Syrian uprising. Observers peg the death toll at north of 305 and counting after the latest round of violence added to the already massive body count from the past 18 months.

The majority of yesterday's dead are believed to be civilians. The Syrian Observatory estimated the number of civilian casualties at 199, a figure it says will likely rise. "And this is only counting those whose names have been documented. If we count the unidentified bodies, the figure will be much higher," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told the AFP by phone.

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The dead reportedly also included 14 people killed in what two separate rebel groups claimed were suicide bombings of the headquarters of the armed forces general staff. The claims by both groups—an Islamist rebel group and another organization claiming to be a part of the Free Syrian Army—were posted to their Facebook pages and have not yet been verified.

The highest death toll in the country prior to yesterday was back in July, when 302 people were confirmed killed, according to the human rights group.

Reuters has more details on the other attacks documented by the group, based on a report the Observatory released Thursday:

55 people were killed in rural areas around Damascus. They included at least 40 who appeared to have been shot in cold blood in the town of al-Dhiyabia, southeast of the capital.
Other activists have put the death toll in al-Dhiyabia as high as 107, blaming Assad's security forces for what they said was a massacre. Video published by activists showed rows of bloodied corpses wrapped in blankets. The victims shown on camera appeared to be male, from 20-year-olds to elderly men.

The events unfolding in Syria yesterday didn't go unnoticed by the UN General Assembly in New York. The organization's largely ineffective attempts to end the bloodshed in the country were repeatedly addressed by speakers, including Hillary Clinton: "The atrocities mount while the Security Council remains paralysed and I would urge that we try once again to find a path forward," she said, via the AFP.

An estimated 30,000 have died in the Syrian conflict, according to the Observatory. More than 1 million people have been displaced within country, and another 300,000 have fled their homeland since last March when the violence began.

Abby Ohlheiser is a Slate contributor.

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