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The death toll in Syria's three-year war has eclipsed 170,000 people, one-third of them civilians, a monitoring group said in a new toll released on Thursday. "Ever since the first casualty of the Syrian revolution was registered on March 18, 2011 in Daraa province, the deaths of 171,509 people have been documented," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Another 65,803 were regime troops and pro-regime militiamen, while 46,301 were rebels seeking President Bashar al-Assad's ouster and members of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group. The Britain-based group, which relies on a broad network of activists, doctors and lawyers inside Syria to document casualties, said the actual number of killed among fighters on both sides was likely to be much higher.
Britain's Vodafone said on Thursday it intended to push ahead with international arbitration in its long-running Indian tax dispute, after the Indian government said it would set up a committee to review retrospective tax claims. Vodafone and India have been locked in a $2.2 billion (1.29 billion pounds) tax standoff since the British company acquired Hutchison Whampoa's Indian mobile assets in 2007. Vodafone thought it had finally secured victory in the case in 2012, when India's Supreme Court dismissed the tax demand. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new government on Thursday unveiled its first budget and said it would review certain claims.