UNITED NATIONS (Xinhua) — The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday deplored the killing of four children earlier this week in Yemen, calling for all parties to the conflict to keep children out of harm’s way.
The UN agency said in a statement that the four were killed, and three others injured on Sunday in the Nihm District, east of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, Farhan Haq, the deputy UN spokesman, said at a daily news briefing here.
UNICEF said since the escalation of the conflict in March of last year, at least 1,121 children were killed and another 1,650 were injured.
“The actual numbers are likely to be much higher,” the UNICEF statement said.
“UNICEF urges all parties to the conflict in Yemen to adhere to International Humanitarian Law and keep children out of harm’s way,” said the statement.
The UN accused both the Yemeni warring parties of using child soldiers, and it is reported that 900 children were killed while 1,300 were wounded during the 2015 conflict.
The Iran-allied Shiite Houthi group supported by forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh advanced from their stronghold in the far north of the province of Saada, storming through the capital Sanaa and other cities in September 2014, dissolving the Saudi-backed government along with President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi based on combating “corruption” allegations.
The Saudi-led air force coalition intervened in March 2015, triggering an all-out civil war and vowing to reinstate Hadi to power and reclaim Sanaa.
The civil war has escalated since then, leaving over 6,000 dead so far in ground battles and airstrikes, half of whom are civilians.
The ongoing conflict has also forcibly displaced over 2.4 million people from Yemen.