UN says at least 187 children killed in Syrian crackdown

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At least 187 children have been killed since Syria launched a brutal crackdown on protestors calling for President Bashar al-Assad's ouster, the United Nations said Friday.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) expressed "its deepest concern over credible, corroborated and consistent reports of gross violations of children's rights which are being committed since the start of the uprising in March 2011."

These included "arbitrary arrests and detentions, killings of children during demonstrations, torture and ill treatment."

CRC head Jean Zermatten told a news conference the Committee had obtained a list on September 22 listing at least 187 child deaths with statistics provided by UN bodies and non-governmental organisations.

It asked Damascus to take "immediate measures to stop the use of excessive and lethal force against civilians and to prevent further violence against children, including killings and injuring."

The United Nations said it now estimated the crackdown had killed more than 2,900 people since mid-March.

Analysts warn that the unrest, which began as peaceful protests, is becoming increasingly armed in response to the regime's relentless gunning down of protesters.

© 2011 AFP

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