Syrian opposition group: 800 killed in past week

Associated Press
View photos
In this Thursday, June 28, 2012 photo, embers of the Free Syrian Army are seen in a neighborhood of Damascus, Syria. Much of the violence that has gripped Syria has been sanctioned by the government to crush dissent. But rebel fighters are launching increasingly deadly attacks on regime targets, and several huge suicide bombings this year suggest al-Qaida or other extremists are joining the battle. A bomb blast rocked central Damascus on Thursday near a busy market and the country's main justice complex, wounding at least three people and sending a cloud of black smoke into the air. (AP Photo)

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's main opposition group says nearly 800 people have been killed in escalating violence across the country in the past week.

The Syrian National Council says in a statement released Sunday that most of the dead were killed in indiscriminate tank and helicopter shelling by regime forces on residential areas throughout Syria.

The SNC did not specify how it arrived at the tally.

Death tolls are difficult to verify in tightly-controlled Syria, which imposes severe restrictions on journalists.

But Khalil Al Haj Saleh, a member of the Local Coordination Committees activist network, said the 800 figure appears to be "realistic" in light of the past week's carnage.

The LCC and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights have reported an average of around 100 Syrians killed in the past week.