UN agency renews call for protecting children after deadly attacks in Yemeni capital

This photo shows Amal who is looking at her destroyed home in Sana’a, Yemen, after it was hit by an airstrike in April 2015. Photo: UNICEF/Ahmed Jahaf

11 January 2017 – At least one girl has been killed and four others injured in attacks near a school outside the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, leading the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to renew its call on the people involved in the country's conflict to protect children and stop attacks on civilian structures.

“Schools should be zones of peace at all times, a sanctuary where children can learn, grow, play and be safe,” Meritxell Relaño, UNICEF Representative in Yemen, said in a statement. “Children should never risk their lives only to attend school.”

Since the escalation of the conflict in March 2015, the UN estimates that nearly 1,400 children have been killed and at least 2,140 injured with actual numbers likely to be “much higher”.

In addition to children casualties, nearly 2,000 schools in Yemen have been damaged or destroyed, or are being used for military purposes.

The attacks on 10 January in the Nihm district are the latest examples of “children witnessing death, war and destruction” instead of learning, said Mrs. Relaño.


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