UNICEF deplores killing of children in eastern Syria

27 June 2016

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has spoken out against the reported killing of 25 children in recent air-strikes in the Syrian town of al-Quriyah, in the eastern countryside of Deir ez-Zor.

“Nothing justifies attacks on children – no matter where they are – nor under whose control they live,” the UN agency said in a statement. “UNICEF deplores these attacks and calls on all parties to the conflict to keep children out of harm’s way.”

According to the statement, issued on 26 June, three attacks reportedly hit heavily crowded areas in the town, including a mosque during prayer time. Health workers were reported to have pulled bodies of children out from under the rubble.

UNICEF said that amid an intensification of violence, attacks on children in Syria are becoming commonplace with callous disregard for their lives. It also recalled that under international humanitarian law, the killing and maiming of children is a grave violation.

More than 250,000 people have been killed and 4.8 million have been forced to leave the country, while another 6.5 million are internally displaced, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The United Nations is involved in Geneva-based talks between the parties, aimed at resolving the conflict.

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