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Death and destruction in war-torn Aleppo, as activists claim 30,000 dead since uprising began

Manu Brabo / AP

A Free Syrian Army weeps over the body of his comrade, killed by a tank blast, in Aleppo, Syria, on Sept. 26. Syria's unrest began in March 2011 when protests calling for political change met a violent government crackdown. Many in the opposition have since taken up arms as the conflict morphed into a civil war that activists say has killed nearly 30,000 people. Over the past few months, the rebels have increasingly targeted security sites and symbols of regime power in a bid to turn the tide in the fighting.

Manu Brabo / AP

A Free Syrian Army fighter holds a rocket-propelled grenade launcher while taking cover after a tank blast in Aleppo, Syria, on Sept. 26.

Reuters -- At least 30,000 people have died in Syria's 18-month-old uprising, a British-based Syrian monitoring group said on Wednesday, and more than half of the victims counted were killed in the past five months.

The uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, which began in March 2011 as peaceful protests, has descended into civil war since rebels took up arms against a security force crackdown.

Rami Abdulrahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 30,716 people were killed. Most of them - at least 21,534 - were civilians. But his network of activists, who are based around Syria, do not divide their civilian death count between unarmed residents and those who have joined the rebels.

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Manu Brabo / AP

Free Syrian Army fighters walk down stairs in a damaged building in Aleppo, Syria, on Sept. 26.

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