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UN Says Civil War Has Cost Syria $388 Billion in Damage

(AP) -- A United Nations agency says Syria's seven-year-long civil war has cost the country $388 billion in economic damage.

The U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) says it estimates the cost of the material destruction -- damage to roads, infrastructure, homes and other physical objects -- is $120 billion.

It says the cost of lost productivity -- or losses to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) -- is $268 billion.

The agency convened a two-day conference in Beirut on of Syrian and international experts to discuss Syria's reconstruction on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Monitoring groups say at least 400,000 people have been killed in Syria's civil war. More than 11 million others -- or half of Syria's pre-war population -- have been displaced from their homes, according to the U.N., including more than 5 million who have been made refugees abroad.

President Bashar Assad's forces continue to press their battles against rebels and Islamic State group insurgents in pockets around northwest and south Syria while refusing a U.N.-mediated political settlement to end the war.

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