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Page last updated at 06:40 GMT, Thursday, 18 October 2012 07:40 UK

Familes tell of their fears for Syria's 'disappeared'

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Human rights groups working in Syria say that at least 28,000 people are missing after being taken from their homes or grabbed in the street by Syrian soldiers or militia. Some suggest the figure may be much higher.

But even the conservative estimates would mean the number who have "disappeared" in just 19 months equals the number of people kidnapped during Argentina's long "Dirty War" that began in the 1970s.

In some cases young children have been taken with their parents, and talk of torture is common.

The campaign organisation, Avaaz, which has been monitoring the claims and talking to some of the families involved, says the abductions are part of a deliberate strategy to terrorise families and communities who are opposed to the government.

Mike Thomson's report begins with news coverage of the story by the BBC's James Reynolds.


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