Buildings and vehicles damaged by what activists say is shelling by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, are seen in the Salah al-Din neighbourhood of central Aleppo.

Beirut -

At least 24 495 people have been killed in violence in Syria since the outbreak of an anti-regime revolt in March last year turned into a bloody conflict, a Britain-based watchdog said.

“A total of 17 281 civilians have been killed in Syria in the past 17 months, including those who took up arms to join the rebellion,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“Meanwhile, 6 163 soldiers have been killed, as well as 1 051 defectors who joined the insurgency,” Abdel Rahman added.

It is impossible to independently verify death tolls out of Syria.

The Observatory has a network of monitors on the ground, and keeps records of the names of those killed in the violence. - Sapa-AFP