Twenty-seven children have been killed or wounded in Yemen over the past 10 days, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced on Sunday.
“Seven children between the ages of four and 14 were killed on Friday in an attack on a fuel station in the Mawiyah district, in the southern Yemeni city of Taiz,” UNICEF’s executive director, Henrietta Fore, told reporters. She added that there were other children reported dead in Yemen’s Houthis-held capital of Sanaa as a result of “continuous attacks.”
“This attack brings to 27 the number of children killed and injured in a recent escalation of violence near Sanaa and in Taiz over the past 10 days,” Fore pointed out, explaining that the actual death toll was “likely to be even higher than the numbers provided by the UN.”
“Nowhere is safe for children in Yemen. The conflict is haunting them in their homes, schools and playgrounds,” she continued.
The UN official called on all the warring parties in Yemen and those who have influence over them “to protect children at all times and keep them out of harm’s way.”
Addressing the UN Security Council and the wider international community, Fore said that “attacks on civilian infrastructure must stop and calls for peace in Yemen must be heeded.”
Impoverished Yemen has remained in a state of civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.
In March 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and shoring up Yemen’s embattled government.
According to UN officials, more than 50,000 people have been killed in the war, while more than 11 per cent of the country’s population has been displaced.