Syria

Statement on killing of school girls in Rural Homs; attributable to Youssouf Abdel-Jelil, UNICEF Syria Representative [EN/AR]

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Damascus, 1 July 2014 – UNICEF is appalled at the senseless deaths of four young girls who were killed by a mortar explosion as they left their school in Homs governorate earlier this week (29 June).

The four deceased girls, aged 13-14 years old, had been attending a UNICEF-supported school club at Al Sabaat school in Al Rastan, a town about 20km to the north of Homs city. The area is the scene of ongoing fighting.

At least four other children were injured in the attack.

The loss of children’s lives due to relentless, indiscriminate attacks on civilian-populated areas is totally unacceptable.

Schools should be safe spaces for children, where they can get much needed respite from the constant fear of attack. At the same time, children should be able to go to and from school safely.

UNICEF renews its repeated calls for all parties to the conflict in Syria to immediately cease all attacks against civilians and to fully respect the special protection afforded to children under international humanitarian and human rights law.

UNICEF has reached close to 328,000 children in Syria through school clubs which provide remedial education classes and recreational activities, along with educational supplies, and teaching and learning materials.

For more information:
Kumar Tiku, UNICEF Syria, ktiku@unicef.org, Mob: +963 934 202 330
David Youngmeyer, UNICEF Syria, dyoungmeyer@unicef.org, Mob: +963 934 202 326
Juliette Touma, UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa, jtouma@unicef.org, Mob: +962 79 867 4628