GENEVA — At least 26 children have been killed during violent protests in Yemen over the last two months, the U.N. children's fund said Tuesday.
Most died of wounds from live ammunition during clashes between security forces and anti-government demonstrators, said UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado.
At least 36 more children have been wounded by live ammunition and 47 were injured with sticks or rocks, she said.
"We have absolutely no indication that the children were targeted, and we don't know who shot them," said Mercado. "They were participating in, or bystanders to, demonstrations."
Yemen, where opposition groups are demanding the ouster of longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh, is considered the least developed country in the region.
"The unrest in the past months is exacting a terrible toll on children," Mercado said, adding that UNICEF is appealing to all sides to keep children out of harm's way.
She also cited the March 28 explosion at an ammunitions factory in the Abyan region as evidence of the precarious condition of children in Yemen. At least 14 minors died in the blast, which occurred while the factory was being looted. (AP)