Syrian toll 'likely to pass 120,000' as atrocities condemned

Human rights group says both sides are being discreet about casualties, as video emerges showing Syrian rebel cutting out the heart of a soldier and eating it.

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BEIRUT // At least 94,000 people have been killed in Syria's two-year war, but the death toll is likely to pass 120,000, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said yesterday.
The UN says at least 70,000 people have died since the uprising against Bashar Al Assad began in 2011.
The Observatory said more than 40,000 of those killed were Alawites, members of Mr Al Assad's sect.
Rami Abdulrahman, head of the Observatory, said the figures were confirmed by eight Alawite sources.
"We believe the real figure of those killed from both sides is above 120,000 because both sides are being discreet on casualties," he said.
The civil war has pitted the Sunni majority against minorities, in particular the Alawites, a sect of Shiite Islam.
Adding another level of brutality, a video has been circulating said to show a Syrian rebel cutting out the heart of a soldier and eating it.
Human Rights Watch and the Syrian opposition National Coalition condemned the video yesterday.
"International news agencies and social-media websites have been circulating a video clip in which a person claiming to be a member of the rebels in Homs performs a horrific and inhumane act," the National Coalition said.
"The Syrian Coalition strongly condemns this act - if it is revealed to be true. The Coalition stresses that such an act contradicts the morals of the Syrian people, as well as the values and principles of the Free Syrian Army."
Human Rights Watch said the man depicted in the video appeared to be from a rebel brigade in central Homs province that fired indiscriminately at Lebanese villages this year.
"It is not enough for Syria's opposition to condemn such behaviour or blame it on violence by the government," said Nadim Houry, Middle East deputy director at Human Rights Watch.
"The opposition forces need to act firmly to stop such abuses."
In the video, a man identified as Abu Sakkar, an alleged commander of the Omar Al Farouq Al Mustakila brigade, is shown standing over the body of a uniformed soldier.
"We swear to God, we will eat your hearts and livers, you soldiers of Bashar the dog," he says as he cuts out the heart in the amateur footage uploaded to YouTube.
"We are the heroes of Baba Amr," he says, referring to a rebel stronghold of the central city of Homs that has been flattened by Al Assad's forces.
The man then stands up, raises his dagger in one hand and the heart in the other and raises it to his mouth before the video abruptly ends.
"The Syrian Coalition reiterates its condemnation of such an act and stresses that it is a crime, regardless of the perpetrator," the group said.
"The culprit will eventually be tried in court in front of an honest and fair judiciary."
* With additional reporting by Reuters