UNICEF: 2016 Was Deadliest Year Yet for Syrian Children

This photo provided by the Unified Medical Bureau of Eastern Ghouta, an opposition activist-run civil society organization, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a boy receiving treatment at a hospital in Ghouta, an opposition-controlled suburb of the capital, Damascus, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. …
Unified Medical Bureau of Eastern Ghouta via AP

BBC News reports: Syria’s children “hit rock bottom” in 2016, with more killed than in any other year of the civil war, the United Nations children’s organisation says.

At least 652 children died – 255 of them in or near a school – last year, a 20% jump from the number killed during 2015, Unicef said. The figure includes only formally verified deaths, meaning the number could be far higher. Unicef believes more than 850 children were recruited to fight in 2016.

The number is double that of 2015, the report states. Those recruited increasingly found themselves on the frontline or, in extreme cases, used as executioners, suicide bombers or prison guards.

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