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UNICEF statement on children caught in the bloodshed in Syria

NEW YORK, 7 February 2012 – Nearly eleven months of violence in Syria have led to the deaths and injuries of hundreds of children. There are reports of children being arbitrarily arrested, tortured and sexually abused while in detention. Over the past few days, reported heavy shelling by government forces of civilian neighbourhoods in the city of Homs is undoubtedly causing further suffering for more children.

“This must stop. Even one child killed in the violence is one child too many,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “We urge the Syrian authorities to allow help to all those who need it desperately.”

UNICEF does not have access to the affected areas of Homs and cannot confirm the impact of the attacks there, but there are credible reports, including from international media inside Homs, that children are caught in the violence. Those injured must be given immediate and unconditional access to specialized medical care.Nearly eleven months of violence in Syria have led to the deaths and injuries of hundreds of children. There are reports of children being arbitrarily arrested, tortured and sexually abused while in detention. Over the past few days, reported heavy shelling by government forces of civilian neighbourhoods in the city of Homs is undoubtedly causing further suffering for more children.

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