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More than 8,000 people have died in Syria during a year of clashes between government security forces and opposition groups, according to a senior United Nations official. Opposition groups say the death toll is closer to 9,000

Many of the victims were women and children, said Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, president of the U.N. General Assembly.

“Violations of human rights are widespread and systematic,” Al-Nasser said.

Meanwhile, Russian deputy defence minister Anatoly Antonov on Tuesday said Moscow will continuing selling Syria arms.

He told reporters that Russia enjoys “good, strong military technical cooperation with Syria, and we see no reason to reconsider it,” the AP news agency reported.

US-based Human Rights Watch advocacy group on Tuesday published a report accusing Syria of planting mines near the borders with Lebanon and Turkey, destinations for refugees from the violence that broke out in March last year.

“The Syrian army should cease its use of antipersonnel landmines and recognize that planting this internationally banned weapon will hurt Syrians for years to come,” the report said.

AKI

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