FILE – In this Thursday, March 28, 2013 photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, a Syrian doctor treats an injured man who was wounded at the open-air cafeteria at Damascus University in the central Baramkeh district, in Damascus, Syria. More than 6,000 people were killed in the Syrian civil war in March alone, according to a leading activist group that reported it was the deadliest month yet in the 2-year-old conflict. (AP Photo/SANA, File)
BEIRUT (AP) — March was the bloodiest month yet in Syria’s 2-year-old conflict with more than 6,000 documented deaths, a leading anti-regime activist group said Monday, blaming the increase on heavier shelling and more violent clashes.
Rami Abdul-Rahman, who heads the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the increased toll is likely incomplete because both the Syrian army and the rebel groups fighting President Bashar Assad’s government often underreport their dead in the civil war.
“Both sides are hiding information,” Abdul-Rahman said by phone from Britain, where his group is based. “It is very difficult to get correct info on the fighters because they don’t want the information to hurt morale.”
The numbers, while provided by only one group, support the appraisal of the conflict offered by many Syria watchers: The civil war is largely a military stalemate that is destroying the country’s social fabric and taking a huge toll on civilians.
The increase also reflects the continuing spread of major hostilities to new parts of Syria. Login to read more