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Minister: war costs Syrian industry $2.2 billion

Nov. 3, 2013 7:24 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 3, 2013 7:24 P.M.)
DAMASCUS (AFP) -- The Syrian industrial sector has lost $2.2 billion since the war began 31 months ago, Industry Minister Kamaleddine Tohme said in statements published Sunday.

"The losses in the industrial sector from the start of the Syrian crisis till October total 336 billion Syrian pounds ($2.2 billion)," the pro-regime newspaper Al-Watan quoted Tohme as saying.

The private industrial sector has lost $1.5 billion, while public industry has lost $700 million, he said.

But he insisted that the figures did not reflect losses incurred in parts of the country held by rebel groups fighting to topple the regime.

More than 120,000 people have been killed in Syria's war, and millions more forced to flee their homes.

It has also destroyed the economy, causing soaring inflation and driving down the value of the Syrian pound.

According to the UN, more than half the Syrian population is now living in poverty.
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