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  • The great and glorious city of Aleppo, one of the oldest beacons of human civilisation, is gradually being destroyed.

    The great and glorious city of Aleppo, one of the oldest beacons of human civilisation, is gradually being destroyed. | Photo: Reuters

A London-based NGO reported that 10,664 children are among the victims.

The death toll after nearly four years of civil war in Syria has risen to 210,060, nearly half of them civilians, but the real figure is probably much higher, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday.

The Observatory, which is based in Britain and has a network of activists across Syria, said that 10,664 children and 6,783 women were among the dead.

Reuters tried to contact Syrian authorities for comment, but they were not immediately available.

Peaceful protests against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011 degenerated into an armed insurgency backed by Washington and its allies, following a fierce security crackdown.

The rights group said it had counted 35,827 Syrian rebels and 45,385 Syrian army soldiers killed. The Observatory's toll could not be independently verified by Reuters.

Among the Observatory's documented deaths were 24,989 foreign jihadist fighters, including radical Sunni rebel groups such as al-Qaida offshoot al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State group.

The rights group also said the war had left 1.5 million Syrians with some type of injury and permanent disability.

But the total death toll was likely to be much higher, perhaps by more than 85,000, said the group's chief, Rami Abdul Rahman. Groups on both sides try to hide their casualties, he said, making the fighter death toll very difficult to gauge.

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