Wounded rushed to hospital
Photo: Reuters
Navi Pillay. 'Reliable sources'
Photo: Reuters
UN: Death toll in Syria unrest at least 2,600
Human Rights commissioner says figure based on 'reliable sources on the ground'. Assad aide: 1,400 dead

The United Nations' top human rights official says the death toll from six months of unrest in Syria has reached at least 2,600.


UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says the figure is based on "reliable sources on the ground."


Related stories:


Meanwhile, Bouthaina Shaaban, an adviser to President Bashar Assad, said that a total of 1,400 people have died in the unrest: 700 opposition activists and 700 police dead.


Pillay spoke Monday at the opening of a three-week meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The council last month held an urgent meeting on Syria at which it voted overwhelmingly to demand that Syria end its bloody crackdown against anti-government protesters.


Also on Monday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that he saw no need for additional pressure on Syria, signalling Russia will not support Western efforts to impose UN sanctions on Assad.


"At the moment there is already a large number of sanctions against Syria, from the European Union and the United States, and so additional pressure now is absolutely not needed in this direction," Medvedev said at a briefing with British Prime Minister David Cameron in the Kremlin.


On Sunday, French Foreign Minister Allain Juppe described as a "scandal" the failure of the United Nations so far to agree a resolution against the violent crackdowns on dissidents in Syria.


"I think it's a scandal not to have a clear position of the UN in such a terrible crisis," Juppe told reporters on Sunday on a visit to Australia. He made the comment when asked about Russian resistance to a draft resolution late last month that called for sanctions against Syrian President Bashar Assad.


"We think that the regime has lost its legitimacy. We think that it's too late to implement a level of reform. We should adopt in New York a very clear resolution condemning the violence," Juppe added.


Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report




 new comment
See all talkbacks "UN: Death toll in Syria unrest at least 2,600"
This will delete your current comment