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Young girls and boys tortured and executed in Syrian civil war

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 25th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

As is the case with every war, the largely unspoken victims in the three-year-old Syrian civil war remain the young children. The United Kingdom-based think tank the Oxford research group says that more than 11,000 children have been killed in the nearly three-year-old civil war in Syria. Many of the young girls and boys have faced torture and execution in the conflict.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Most of the 11,420 children reported dead were killed in explosions, and many others were shot to death, the group says.

According to the report, "Stolen Futures: The Hidden Toll of Child Casualties in Syria," teenage boys were the most likely to be the victims of targeted killings.

"What is most disturbing about the findings of this report is not only the sheer numbers of children killed in this conflict, but the way they are being killed," co-author Hana Salama said in a statement.

According to their findings, more than 1,000 children were either summarily executed or killed by snipers. Some 112 children, even infants, were tortured before being killed. It's only getting worse: deaths of children are "mounting," the report says.

As if to point out the rapidly deteriorating political situation in Syria - both pro-government Syrian troops as well as anti-government rebel groups have been blamed for targeting civilians.

"The world needs to take a much closer interest in the effects of the conflict on Syria's children," Salama said.

In conclusion, the authors of the report have called for the warring sides to stop using explosives where children live and play. The Oxford Research Group added that the Aleppo Governorate was the site of the most child deaths, set at 2,223.

Statistics were taken from the casualty lists of Syrian organizations from March 2011 to August 2013. The report only included identified victims.

The United Nations last June declared that at least 6,500 children had been killed since the start of the war.

"There are . well-documented cases of individual children being tortured and executed, and entire families, including babies, being massacred," U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said.

The overall death toll topped 100,000 in late July, the U.N. Announced. The U.N. says that more than 2.1 million people have fled Syria, which has about 22.5 million residents.

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