Beirut: A Syrian human rights group says nearly 9,000 government troops have been killed in two years of fighting between President Bashar Al Assad’s forces and rebels trying to topple him.

The Syria-based Violations Documentation Centre has been keeping track of the dead, wounded and missing since the start of the uprising against Al Assad’s rule. It said on Monday 8,785 Syrian troops have died in the fighting.

The rare report on the regime’s death toll was compiled from government and opposition sources.

At the start of the revolt, authorities published names of the fallen troops daily. As the uprising turned more violent and eventually became a civil war, reports of casualties on the government side vanished from the public domain.

More than 70,000 people have died since Syria’s crisis erupted in March 2011.