500 children killed in Yemen in last six months

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A classroom in Sana'a, heavily damaged during an air strike that hit the building next to the school. Photo: UNICEF/ Mohammed Mahmoud

More than 500 children's lives have been lost in Yemen since the conflict escalated in March, the UN said Friday.

Children's Agency UNICEF said that six months of "unremitting violence" in the country have also left more than 700 youngsters injured.

A further 1.7 million of them are also at risk of malnutrition as fighting continues between coalition forces loyal to President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi  and Houthi rebels.

Daniel Johnson has more.

Eight children have been killed or maimed every day in Yemen since fighting escalated in late March, UNICEF said Friday.

That's taken the total death toll to at least 505 in the last six months alone, where there's been "unremitting violence" according to the UN Children's Agency.

The use of children in the conflict has also worsened, quadrupling since 2014 to at least 606 cases verified by the UN.

Here's UNICEF spokesperson Christophe Boulierac:

"The recruitment and use of children has also sharply increased…Children in Yemen are being used by armed groups manning checkpoints or carrying arms."

Across the country nearly 10 million children are in urgent need of humanitarian aid and the escalation of fighting has also pushed more than 1.4 million people from their homes, the UNICEF spokesperson said.

But Christophe Boulierac added that more children would die from preventable diseases than bullets and bombs in the Arabian peninsula state, with millions at risk of respiratory tract diseases and measles.

To date, latest UN figures indicate that around 5,000 people have been killed in Yemen and 25,000 wounded, many of them civilians, since 26 March.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 1’14″


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