United Nation says 2016 was the deadliest year for Syrian children

Namrata Tripathi
United Nation says 2016 was the deadliest year for Syrian children

United Nation International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF)  on Monday said that 2016 was the worst year for the Syrian children who were subjected to continuous violence in the war-torn country.

UNICEF said the cases of children being killed, maimed or recruited into armed groups were "highest on record" last year in Syria.

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"The depth of suffering is unprecedented. Millions of children in Syria come under attack on a daily basis, their lives turned upside down," UNICEF's regional director Geert Cappelaere said.

"Each and every child is scarred for life with horrific consequences on their health, well-being, and future," Cappelaere added.

The UN's children's agency recorded at least 652 deaths last year, a 20 percent increase from 2015. More than 250 chidren were killed inside or near a school last year, according to AFP.

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Around 850 children were also recruited to fight in the Syrian conflict last year, including as suicide bombers and executioners. Data states that the number of child suicide bombers in 2016 were more than double the number in 2015.

Around 2.3 million Syrian children are living as refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq. And another 280,000 still live under siege across Syria, with no access to basic necessities like food, safe shelter or medicine, the UN organisation said.

Thousands of stranded people were evacuated from war-hit Syrian capital Aleppo last year in December as President Bashar al-Assad led Syrian regime gained control over most of the rebel-held areas of eastern Aleppo, in a major win to the Assad government.

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The civil war in the country over the years has left more than 310,000 people dead and many more displaced. Various efforts by the United Nations (UN) to broker a truce between all the parties in the six-year-long war have failed repeatedly.

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