Deadliest day: More than 300 killed in Syria

Deadliest day: More than 300 killed in Syria

Sat July 21, 2012 7:07am

MORE than 300 people have been killed in the deadliest day of Syria's 16-month anti-regime uprising.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a total of 302 people - 98 soldiers, 139 civilians and 65 rebels - were killed across the country on Thursday, revising an earlier toll.

"It's the highest toll since the beginning of the uprising, for civilians, rebels and soldiers," Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the London-based Observatory, said.

The Observatory also reported intense fighting in several neighbourhoods of Aleppo today and said troops opened fire on a large demonstration in the city, Syria's commercial centre.

It said 128 people were killed nationwide today, including 85 civilians, at least seven of them children.

The bloodshed was set to continue as Syrian forces launched an all-out assault on opposition strongholds in Damascus, a day after rebels seized crossings on the Iraq and Turkey borders on the 16-month conflict's deadliest day so far.

Thousands flee

Up to 30,000 Syrians have fled into Lebanon over the past 48 hours to escape the violence, the UN refugee agency said.

"Reports vary between 8500 and 30,000 people having crossed in the past 48 hours," UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told reporters in Geneva. Syrians are also fleeing towards Turkey, Jordan and Iraq.

Assad 'ready to go'

Damascus, meanwhile, dismissed comments by Moscow's envoy to Paris that President Bashar al-Assad is ready to stand down. The denial came after Alexander Orlov told Radio France International (RFI) that Assad was ready to cede power but only in a "civilised manner."

"The comments attributed to the Russian ambassador to Paris on the fact that President Assad would agree to relinquish power in a civilised manner are totally baseless," state television said.

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