MIDDLE EAST

Syria Death Toll Soars

An evening battle near Syria’s border with Turkey left at least 23 dead on Saturday, as the death toll in the eight-month uprising approaches 4,600, according to a leading activist group. Four other civilians were shot dead in Homs, a hotbed of violence, and one man's body was returned to his family five days after he had been arrested. Seven security forces were among the Turkish-border casualties. The British-based SOHR claims that security forces account for nearly a quarter of the 4,600 people purported dead in the uprising. The U.N.'s human-rights group has demanded President Assad be held accountable for crimes against humanity, including executions and imprisonment of some 14,000 people. Syrian authorities, meanwhile, say they're fighting “terrorist groups” trying to start a civil war.