"In Afghanistan, the number of child casualties remained the highest such number in the present report (3,062) and children accounted for 28 per cent of all civilian casualties. In the Syrian Arab Republic, air strikes, barrel bombs and cluster munitions resulted in 1,854 child casualties," the report said.
The Saudi Arabia-led military coalition fighting in Yemen killed or injured 729 children during 2018, accounting for nearly half the total child casualties, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a report to the Security Council on Friday that blacklisted the coalition for a third year.
"I condemn the increasing number of child casualties, which are often a result of attacks in densely populated areas and against civilian objects, including schools and hospitals," Guterres said in the report, produced by U.N. Children and Armed Conflict envoy Virginia Gamba and issued in Guterres' name.
"The rise in the number of child casualties attributed to the Government Forces and the Coalition and the persistent killing and maiming of children by the Popular Resistance are increasingly worrying," the report said.
Guterres also reported that the highest number of Palestinian children had been killed or injured last year since 2014, mainly by Israeli forces. Last year, the report verified that 59 Palestinian children had been killed - 56 by Israeli forces - and another 2,756 injured, while six Israeli children were injured. The report found Israeli forces injured some 2,674 children "in the context of demonstrations, clashes and search and arrest operations."
Guterres urged "Israel to immediately put in place preventive and protective measures to end the excessive use of force" and "all Palestinian actors to refrain from encouraging children's participation in violence."