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Unicef: 115 children killed since Saudi airstrikes hit Yemen Open in fullscreen

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Unicef: 115 children killed since Saudi airstrikes hit Yemen

Yemeni children have been caught up in the fighting [al-Araby]

Date of publication: 24 April, 2015

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The UN's agency for children says that more than a hundred Yemeni children have been killed since Saudi-led coalition airstrikes began on March 26.

At least 115 children have been killed as a result of the fighting in Yemen since March 26, Unicef said on Friday, as Saudi-led coalition airstrikes continued to hit targets across the country.

The UN agency added that 172 children had been injured since the airstrikes began.

"We believe that these are conservative figures," said Unicef spokesman Christophe Boulierac in Geneva. At least 64 of the children killed were victims of airstrikes.

A further 26 children were said to have been killed by unexploded ordnance and mines, 19 by gunfire, three by shelling and three by "unverified causes related to the conflict".

The aerial campaign has focused on the north of the country, where 71 children have died.

Unicef's figures followed the World Health Organisation's death toll released on Thursday, which said that the number of those who had died in the conflict in Yemen had topped 1,000, at least 551 of whom were civilians.

Unicef also highlighted the recruitment of child soldiers, saying that at least 140 children had been recruited by armed groups.

"There are hundreds of thousands of children in Yemen who continue to live in the most dangerous circumstances, many waking up scared in the middle of the night to the sounds of bombing and gunfire," said Unicef's Yemen representative, Julien Harneis.

"The number of child casualties shows clearly how devastating this conflict continues to be for the country's children," he said.

Airstrikes continue

Meanwhile, Saudi-led coalition planes hit targets across the country, as the war in Yemen continued.

Airstrikes are understood to have hit a camp in Taiz, housing troops loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Targets in Aden, where the Houthis - in alliance with Saleh loyalists - are clashing with locals opposed to their advance, were also reportedly bombed.

There were reports by residents in Yemen's eastern Marib province that overnight airstrikes had hit the region, and that there had been fighting between local tribesmen and Houthi-Saleh forces, although no death toll could be obtained.

On Tuesday, the coalition had announced that "Operation Decisive Storm", as the first phase of the airstrikes was labelled, had ended, and that "Operation Restoring Hope" had begun.

In reality, airstrikes have continued, although the number has decreased, especially in the capital, Sanaa.

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