Yemen conflict kills 187 children: Rights group.
One hundred and eighty-seven children have been killed since August in the conflict in north Yemen, a report by the local SEYAJ children's rights organization and the U.N. Children's Fund said on Monday.
The report also accused both north Yemen Shiite rebels and a pro-government militia of using child soldiers.
Seventy-one percent of the 187 were killed in the fighting, while the remainder died from lack of food or medical services, the report said. The most recent round of a six-year conflict between the rebels, also known as Houthis, and government forces began on August 11, when the government launched an all-out offensive aiming to crush the uprising.
Saudi Arabia joined the fray on Nov. 4, after accusing the rebels of killing a border guard and occupying two villages inside its territory.
The fighting has centered on the northern Saada and Amran provinces.
The report said there were child soldiers on both sides of the conflict -- 402 who fought for the Houthis, and 282 who fought for a pro-government militia.
However, it also noted that the actual number of child soldiers was probably much higher.
It cited information from witnesses as indicating that about half of the fighters in the government militia were under 18, while more than half of all Houthi forces were under that age.
A survey of areas in Saada and Amran found 73,926 displaced children present in the two provinces -- 37,387 boys and 36,539 girls, the report said.
Of those, 42 percent suffered from malnutrition, 25 percent from respiratory infections and 19 percent from skin diseases, the report said.
It said that just three percent of the children have access to education.
According to the report, the fighting took a heavy toll on infrastructure in the Saada region.
Two of the province's 18 hospitals and three of its 17 health centers were destroyed, it said. Seventeen of the 701 schools in the region were also destroyed, and 16 were used for military purposes.
The report called for an increase in humanitarian aid to displaced people, for all parties to ensure safe passage for aid convoys, and for ways to be found to grant children access to health and educational services.
It also called for studies on the effect of the war on children, and for the continued collection of statistics on victims of the fighting, particularly children, as well as damage to infrastructure.
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