At least 2,600 people have been killed in the unrest in Syria since popular protests first broke out in mid-March, the UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said Monday.

"With regard to Syria, let me note that, according to reliable sources on the ground, the number of those killed since the onset of the unrest in mid-March 2011 in that country, has now reached at least 2,600," Pillay told the UN Human Rights Council.

In August, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had told a special meeting of the council that more than 2,200 people have been killed in Syria's anti-government protests.