Beirut: More than 76,000 people were killed in Syria’s conflict in 2014, including thousands of children, making it the deadliest year yet in the war, a monitoring group said on Thursday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it had documented the deaths of 76,021 people during 2014, including 3,501 children.

The war began in March 2011 with peaceful protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s government, but quickly escalated into a full-blown civil war after a brutal regime crackdown.