UN human rights chief Navi Pillay has announced that 191,369 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict up to April 2014.
Navi Pillay said the figure was “probably an underestimate” and criticized what she called “international paralysis” on the issue.
The figure is more than double the UN estimate given a year ago.
Opposition groups in Syria have been fighting President Bashar al-Assad for over three years, but have lost ground in recent months.
More than 191,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict up to April 2014
The UN report was based on data from four different monitoring groups and the Syrian government which was then cross-checked.
“Tragically it is probably an underestimate of the real total number of people killed during the first three years of this murderous conflict,” Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said.
“The killers, destroyers and torturers in Syria have been empowered and emboldened by the international paralysis” she added.
The highest number of killings was recorded in Damascus province, with 39,393 deaths, followed by Aleppo, with 31,932.
Both the Syrian government and Syrian rebel groups have been accused of war crimes by the UN.
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According to the UN’s human rights chief, Navi Pillay, the downing of the Malaysia Airlines plane in Ukraine may be a “war crime”.
Pro-Russia Ukrainian rebels and the Ukrainian authorities have accused each other of shooting down flight MH17.
A Ukrainian official said on Monday that MH17’s data recorders show it came down due to “massive explosive decompression” caused by a rocket.
Meanwhile, heavy fighting has again prevented an international police force from reaching the crash site.
The Ukrainian military said it was battling separatists for control of several towns near the site in eastern Ukraine.
All 298 people on board the airliner – mostly Dutch – died on July 17.
The downing of the Malaysia Airlines plane in Ukraine may be considered a war crime
International police want to help secure the huge site so that plane wreckage and human remains can be examined by international crash experts.
Most of the bodies have been removed, many of them repatriated to the Netherlands.
“This violation of international law, given the prevailing circumstances, may amount to a war crime,” Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said of the downing of MH17.
“Every effort will be made to ensure that anyone committing serious violations of international law including war crimes will be brought to justice, no matter who they are,” she said.
Navi Pillay spoke as the latest UN report on Ukraine suggested at least 1,129 people have been killed and 3,442 wounded in the Ukraine conflict since mid-April.
The conflict has displaced more than 200,000 people, many of whom have fled east to neighboring Russia.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian security spokesman Andriy Lysenko told reporters on Monday that recovered flight data showed the aircraft crashed due to a massive, explosive loss of pressure after being punctured multiple times by shrapnel.
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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has condemned Israel’s military actions in the Gaza Strip, saying that war crimes may have been committed.
Navi Pillay told an emergency debate at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that Israel’s military offensive had not done enough to protect civilians.
She also condemned Hamas for “indiscriminate attacks” on Israel.
Israel launched its offensive on July 8 with the declared objective of stopping rocket fire from Gaza.
“There seems to be a strong possibility that international law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes,” Navi Pillay said.
Israel’s Justice Minister Tzipi Livni described the UN Human Rights Council as an “anti-Israel” body, Reuters news agency reported.
At least 649 Palestinians and 31 Israelis have been killed in the past 15 days of fighting, officials say.
A foreign worker in southern Israel was also killed by a rocket fired from Gaza on Wednesday, police said.
The UN says about 74% of those killed in Gaza are civilians, with medical clinics among the facilities hit by air strikes.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has condemned Israel’s military actions in the Gaza Strip (photo AP)
“Civilians in Gaza have no safe place to go as 44% of the land has been declared a ‘no-go zone’ by the Israeli army,” the assistant secretary-general at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.
“Families are taking the heart-wrenching decision to split to different locations – mother and son to one; father and daughter to another – hoping to maximize the chance one part of the family survives.”
There was heavy fighting in the town of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on Wednesday.
Eyewitnesses say around 5,000 Palestinians, some waving white flags, are fleeing in a state of panic following a ground incursion by Israeli troops.
Meanwhile US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Israel on Wednesday to try to help negotiate a truce.
“We have certainly made some steps forward. There is still work to be done,” John Kerry said shortly after arriving.
John Kerry flew by military plane to Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, as several US and European airlines continue to suspend civilian flights into Israel after a rocket from Gaza landed near the airport.
German airline Lufthansa announced on Wednesday it would extend the ban for another 24 hours.
At least five people died in an air strike in Khan Younis overnight. An Israeli soldier was also killed.
Earlier, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas should be held accountable for rejecting an Egyptian ceasefire proposal.
Referring to a July 16 Israeli air strike that killed children playing on a beach in Gaza, Navi Pillay said “the disregard for international humanitarian law and for the right to life was shockingly evident”.
She also condemned rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel.
“The principles of distinction and precaution are clearly not being observed during such indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas by Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups,” she told the UN Human Rights Council.
Despite her condemnation of Hamas attacks on Israel, Navi Pillay clearly views Israel’s actions in Gaza as disproportionate.
“Israel is acting according to international law,” Tzipi Livni said.
“It is regrettable civilians are killed, but when we call on them to vacate and Hamas calls on them to stay, then that is what happens.”
A 2009 UN human rights report said that Israel’s military and Hamas had each committed potential war crimes during Israel’s 2008-2009 offensive in Gaza.
The Goldstone report was rejected by Israel and the US as biased and flawed.
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