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UNICEF: 384 children killed in Syria

The UN released a report saying at least 384 children have been killed in Syria in the last 10 months.

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(ANWAR AMRO//AFP/Getty Images)

At least 384 children have been killed in Syria in the last 10 months, as the uprising leads to more violence, the United Nations Children’s Fund said on Friday, Reuters reported.

"As of January 7, 384 children have been killed, most are boys. Some 380 children have been detained, some less than 14 years old," Rima Salah, acting UNICEF deputy executive director said, Reuters reported.

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According to UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado, figures are based on reports from human rights groups who review doctors and hospitals, and interview families of victims and gather witness testimony.

"It is something the world should not ignore," Mercado said to MSNBC.

UNICEF disclosed the figure at the same time the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 35 people were killed in Syria on Friday, including the first fatalities in the city of Aleppo and a car bomb in the northwest, the AFP reported.

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Mercado called the number of children’s deaths in Syria “of the gravest concern to UNICEF,” MSNBC reported. The previous death toll for children in Syria was 307 on Dec. 2, according to UN human rights chief Navi Pillay.

By mid-December the overall death toll in Syria was more than 5,000, which also included soldiers and people executed for refusing to shoot civilians, Reuters reported.

"It has gotten too difficult now to do sufficient verification to come up with a new estimate. We don't doubt for a second that many more people are being killed, but we're not really in a position to quantify it anymore," UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said, Reuters reported.

On Friday the UN Security Council will meet to discuss its next move in Syria. The Council will also be given a new Western-Arab draft resolution that supports the Arab League’s call for President Bashar Assad to transfer powers to his deputy, MSNBC reported.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/120127/unicef-384-children-killed-syria