More children died in 2016 than in any other of the previous five years of civil war
Syria’s children “hit rock bottom” in 2016, with more killed than in any other year of the civil war, UNICEF has said.
At least 652 children died – 255 of them in or near a school – last year, a 20% jump from the number killed during 2015, the organisation said.
The figure only includes the deaths formally verified, meaning the number could be far higher.
Unicef also believes more than 850 children were recruited to fight.
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.
“The depth of suffering is unprecedented,” said Geert Cappelaere, Unicef regional director for the Middle East and North Africa speaking from Homs, Syria.
“Millions of children in Syria come under attack on a daily basis, their lives turned upside down.”