UN says at least 500 children killed in Yemen conflict

United Nations says more than 500 children killed since civil war began in Yemen in March

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Children gesture for for the camera in Yemen's southern port city of Aden

Updated Oct 27, 2015

Christophe Boulierac, the spokesman for the UN children's agency, said on Friday that more than 500 children have been killed and 702 injured in Yemen since March when the Saudi led coalition intervening in the country started to carry out air strikes targeting the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in order to defend embattled President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

The Arab coalition initiated its air war against the Houthis on 26 March, when President Hadi fled to neighbouring Saudi Arabia and asked for help.

The coalition is also running training programmes and dropping weapons for Yemeni fighters loyal to Hadi.

Nearly two million youths are at risk of malnutrition in the country, Boulierac said, urging all parties to bring an end to the violence.

People sit by the closed door of a government bank in Yemen's southern port city of Aden

Cases of recruitment of children in the country on both sides also increased in 2015, he said

“Children in Yemen are being used by armed groups, manning checkpoints or carrying arms.”

Boulierac said humanitarian aid is urgently needed for the country, where 10 million children are desperately waiting for help.

The danger of malnutrition threatens 537,000 children under five. The number of children at risk was standing at 160,000 before the war began, he stated.

The UN says 2,355 civilians have been killed in Yemen since late March, while 4,862 people have been injured and some 1.4 million people have fled their homes.

Saudi Arabia denies that coalition air strikes have killed Yemeni civilians.

TRTWorld and agencies