More than 37,000 killed in Syria conflict: watchdog

More than 37,000 people have been killed since the outbreak of Syria's anti-regime revolt in March 2011, with over 1,000 dead in the past week, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday.

Civilians, at 26,596, represented the vast majority of those killed, said the Observatory, which included in that figure non-military people who have taken up arms against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The rest were from the military -- 9,445 soldiers -- and 1,331 who defected to join the rebellion.

Another 498 people killed could not be identified, it said.

The Observatory did not include thousands of people who have gone missing in the conflict, some thought to be in detention and others dead. It also excluded thousands of pro-regime militiamen.

The violence in Syria has been heavy since an attempt to impose a ceasefire for the October 26-29 Eid al-Adha Muslim holiday collapsed, with 247 killed on Monday in the bloodiest day since the truce attempt.

The Observatory relies on a network of activists, lawyers and medics at military and civilian hospitals inside Syria for its information.

The uprising began as pro-reform protests inspired by the Arab Spring but transformed into an armed insurgency after the government began brutally crushing demonstrations.

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