Saudi-led coalition hands 52 child soldiers to Yemeni government

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Riyadh, June 7 (IANS) The Saudi-led Arab coalition on Tuesday handed over to the Yemeni government 52 children recruited as soldiers by Houthi militias, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The handover was done in coordination with a number of international organisations, such as Red Cross and UNICEF. The kids were captured at the Saudi-Yemeni borders while carrying arms or planting mines.

The Arab coalition that has been involved in a war against Houthi since March 2015 highlighted that before the handover those who were captured were kept in shelters suitable for their age.

On Monday, the UN removed the coalition from child right blacklist pending a joint review by the world body and the coalition of the cases of child deaths and injuries. This was decided despite strong rejection of Saudi Arabia of such decision.

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The listing reasons were mentioned in a UN report released on Thursday. According the report the coalition was responsible for 60 per cent of child deaths and injuries last year, killing 510 and wounding 667. It also highlighted that the coalition carried out half of the attacks on schools and hospitals.



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