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The New Arab

Nearly 12,000 children killed in Syria

The latest toll has been compiled by British-based group SOHR

Date of publication: 7 August, 2015

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As Syria's conflict continues to rage, the death toll continues to mount, with figures rising to over 240,000, including thousands of children.

More than 240,000 people, including 12,000 children, have been killed in Syria's conflict which broke out in March 2011, a monitoring group reported.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said it has documented the deaths of 240,381 people, up from its tally of 230,618 announced on June 9.

The latest toll compiled by the Britain-based group, which relies on a wide network of sources on the ground, shows that 11,964 children were among 71,781 civilians killed in Syria.

The Syrian conflict began with anti-government protests before spiralling into a multi-front war after a brutal regime crackdown.

The country is now also battling with Islamic State militants. Earlier in July, the British group reported that more than 50 child soldiers recruited by the Islamic State group in Syria had been killed since the beginning of this year.

SOHR said it had documented the deaths of 52 child soldiers, all under the age of 16, who had reportedly been part of IS' "Cubs of the Caliphate" programme, which provides intense military and religious training to children.

The child soldiers are used to staff checkpoints or gather intelligence from areas outside IS control, but IS has been increasingly using them to execute prisoners or conduct suicide attacks.

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