Syrian rebels gather around a fire Wednesday as they plan patrols in the Saif al-Dawlah neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria.
The United Nations estimated Wednesday that more than 60,000 people have been killed in Syria’s 21-month-old uprising against authoritarian rule, a toll one-third higher than what anti-regime activists had counted. The U.N. human rights chief called the toll “truly shocking."
The day’s events illustrated the escalating violence that has made recent months the deadliest of the conflict: As rebels pressed a strategy of attacking airports and pushing the fight closer to President Bashar Assad’s stronghold in Damascus, the government responded with deadly airstrikes on restive areas around the capital.
A missile from a fighter jet hit a gas station in the suburb of Mleiha, killing or wounding dozens of people who were trapped in burning piles of debris, activists said.