Protect children in Syrian conflict: UN official

Beirut, July 20 (IANS) A UN official has urged all Syrian parties to undertake measures to protect children and civilians in the unrest-torn country where "6.8 million people require urgent humanitarian assistance", half of them being children.

"All parties must stop the shelling and use of explosive weapons in populated areas, as well as terror attacks," reported Xinhua citing Leila Zerrougui, the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Friday.

"Safe and impartial delivery of humanitarian assistance that is so critically needed must be guaranteed by all parties. Civilians must not be taken hostage by belligerents," she said.

Zerrougui also called on the international community to continue to help Syrian children and their families.

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