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Syrian activist group: Record number of dead found

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Posted at 7:06 PM, Apr 21, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-21 21:06:31-04

By CNN Staff.

(CNN) — The bodies of at least 566 people who were killed over a six-day period across Syria were found Sunday, according to Local Coordination Committees in Syria, an opposition group based in the country.

That is the highest number of victims discovered in a single day since the war began in March 2011, according to LCC spokeswoman Rafif Jouejati.

At least 450 bodies were found in the Damascus suburb of Jadidat al-Fadel, LCC activist Abu Aasy said.

Over the past six days, some 3,000 members of the security forces stormed the area, and the dead include at least 300 civilians and 150 members of the Free Syrian Army, he said.

The war in Syria has been raging ever since protesters, partly inspired by Arab Spring uprisings in the region, began demonstrating for more freedom two years ago.

That movement quickly morphed into a movement against President Bashar al-Assad, who was appointed president by Syria’s parliament in 2000 after his father died. The government responded to the demonstrations with a brutal crackdown.

In February, the United Nations estimated that 70,000 people had been killed in the fighting.

CNN cannot independently verify death tolls or other accounts of violence in Syria as the government severely restricts access by international journalists.

CNN’s Amir Ahmed contributed to this report.
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