Eight children killed or maimed every day in Yemen

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Shrapnel from exploded artillery shells in Sana'a, the capital of Yemen. Photo: UNICEF/Mohamed Hamoud

Airstrikes and ground fighting in Yemen have caused the deaths of at least 398 children since March, UN children's agency UNICEF said Wednesday.

In a report on the conflict since it escalated nearly five months ago, the UN agency says that scores of children are dying every month, while those who survive are in constant fear of being killed.

In addition to the dead, more than 600 youngsters have been injured, UNICEF warns, although it believes the unofficial victim numbers are much higher.

Daniel Johnson has more.

Almost five months since fighting escalated in Yemen, it's children who've borne the brunt of the crisis, according to UNICEF.

The UN children's agency says that nearly eight children are killed or maimed every day as the conflict unfolds between government and rebel troops.

But that's just the official number.

In reality, UNICEF believes that the true number of children killed or maimed could be much higher.

In its latest report into the conflict, UNICEF describes the daily dangers confronting children who venture outside to play.

Here's the agency's spokesperson Simon Ingram:

"One of the children we spoke to was a nine-year-old girl, Latifa. And she described how she was out playing with her sisters when there were bombs exploding all around them. She actually says she couldn't see each other because of all the dust around us, it was difficult to breathe. And she says naturally how terrified she was and how she prayed for protection."

Latest estimates indicate that nearly 10 million children – or to put it another way, 80 per cent of Yemen's under-18 population – need urgent humanitarian assistance.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration: 1'06"

 

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