BEIRUT - At least 17,129 people have been killed in Syria's 16-month-old revolt against Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The pro-opposition Observatory said at least 11,897 of them were "civilians" - but added it could not determine how many of those might have been fighters who had joined an insurgency led by army defectors.

Around 884 defectors have been killed in the crackdown on the protest movement that began in spring 2011 and has since turned into an armed rebellion, the Observatory said.

The total death toll included members of the security forces still loyal to Assad, of whom 4,348 have died, it said.

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