May 24, 2011 / 1:23 AM / in 8 years

At least 1,100 civilians killed in Syria uprising: group

People run as gunfire is heard on the main highway in Homs, in this still image taken from video uploaded on a social media website, May 21, 2011. REUTERS/Social Media Website via Reuters TV

AMMAN (Reuters) - Syrian troops and security forces have killed at least 1,100 civilians in their two-month campaign to crush pro-democracy demonstrations, Syrian human rights organization Sawasiah said Tuesday.

Sawasiah said it had the names of the 1,100 people who it reported were killed mostly in the southern Hauran Plain region, where the uprising erupted on March 18.

The death toll rose sharply after street protests grew in number and spread out from the south, prompting a military crackdown, Sawasiah said.

The rights organization, founded by jailed human rights lawyer Mohannad al-Hassani, said it had reports of another 200 civilians deaths, but did not have names.

Syrian authorities have blamed most of the killings on “armed saboteur groups” backed by Islamists and outside powers who they say have killed more than 120 soldiers and police.

Rights campaigners say some soldiers have been shot by security agents for refusing to fire on civilians.

Syria has barred most international media since the protests broke out two months ago, making it difficult to verify accounts of the violence.

Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis

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