As world leaders deadlock over what to do about Syria at the United Nations summit in New York, the war-torn country has experienced one of the bloodiest days of its 18-month civil war. The opposition group Local Coordination Committees of Syria claims 343 deaths in a single day on Wednesday, the highest death toll since fighting began in March 2011, CNN reports. Meanwhile, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights released a report Thursday claiming more than 300 deaths Wednesday for a total of 30,000 deaths since March 2011, Reuters reports.
The reports attributed at least 40 deaths to a massacre by Syrian troops in al-Dhiyabia, a town south of Damascus, where victims of the alleged attack were shown in a YouTube video revealing corpses of men from the age of 60 to their teens. The 343 reported deaths would place Wednesday ahead of August 25, 2012, when 330 people were reportedly killed. While figures of the two reports could not be independently verified given restrictions on journalists working in the country, other reports from yesterday and this morning have chronicled a brutal uptick in violence in the country against both opposition forces and Syrian troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.