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Statement on Syria by Maria Calivis, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa

Mortar attacks on schools kill 9 children in Damascus; 29 students injured in the past three weeks

Damascus, 12 November 2013 – The killing of innocent children continues in war-torn Syria. UNICEF is outraged by the latest deadly attacks on schools in and around Damascus.

Yesterday, five children were reportedly killed and 11 injured in their classrooms when shells hit St. John of Damascus School in the suburb of al-Qassaa. On the same day, four children and their driver were reportedly killed after a shell hit their school bus in Bab Touma.

Yesterday’s shelling follows a string of attacks on Damascus schools over the past three weeks. On 6 November, a shell hit Aicha Al Sidika School in the Al Midan area of Damascus, reportedly injuring four children. On 22 October, 14 students and a teacher were reportedly injured when shells hit two schools – Fayez Saeed and Nazeh Monzier – in Jaramana, Rural Damascus.

These barbaric acts must stop. All those with influence in Syria have a moral obligation to respect the sanctity of children’s lives and ensure that schools remain a place of safe refuge.


UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org.

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For further information, please contact:
Juliette Touma, UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa
Mobil: +962 79 867 4628




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