LONDON – Targeted by sniper fire or chemical weapons, more than 11,000 children have been killed in Syria since the conflict there began over two and a half years ago, a British think-tank has revealed.
“What is most disturbing about the findings of this report is not only the sheer numbers of children killed in this conflict, but the way they are being killed,” report co-author Hamit Dardagan told Agence France Presse (AFP) on Sunday, November 24.
“Bombed in their homes, in their communities, during day-to-day activities such as waiting in bread lines or attending school; shot by bullets in crossfire, targeted by snipers, summarily executed, even gassed and tortured.
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“All conflict parties need to take responsibility for the protection of children, and ultimately find a peaceful solution for the war itself,” he added.
The report, entitled "Stolen Futures: The hidden toll of child casualties in Syria", analyses data from the beginning of the conflict in March 2011 until August 2013.
Authored by the Oxford Research Group, which specializes in global security, the new study revealed that there were 11,420 recorded deaths of children aged 17 years and under.
The shocking number of deaths included 128 children who were killed by chemical weapons in Ghouta, near Damascus, on August 21, 2013.
The think-tank added on Sunday that 764 children were summarily executed and 389 were killed by sniper fire in the conflict.
Explosive weapons have also caused more than 70 percent of the child deaths, while one in four children had been killed by small arms fire.
Over 100, including some of infant age, were reported to have been tortured.
The report added that children in older age groups were targeted more often than younger children.
Boys aged between 13-17 years old were the most frequent victims of targeted killings.
Revealing the shocking news, the report authors urged international action to protect Syria children.
"The data we analyzed indicates that bombs and bullets alone ended the lives of ten thousand Syrian children in 30 months of war," added Dardagan.
"The world needs to take a much closer interest in the effects of the conflict on Syria's children."
The report is not the first about the effect of Syria conflict on children.
In September 2013, The United Nations Children’s Fund warned that almost two million Syrian children have dropped out of school.
More than 100,000 people have been killed in two years and a half of fighting between Assad’s regime and opposition fighters in Syria.
The fighting has forced more than one million Syrians to flee their home to neighboring countries in addition to the displacement of two millions others inside the country.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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