Yemen accuses Houthis of 'child genocide'

Yemeni minister says high number of children killed in suicide attacks in Marib

'Brainwashed' Yemeni children sit outside a school used by Houthi rebels. AFP 
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A Yemeni minister on Wednesday likened to genocide the number of children aged between 10 and 16 who have died fighting for the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Muammar Al Eryani, the Yemeni Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, accused the rebels of brainwashing children and sending them to fight and inevitably die on various fronts in Marib.

Sheikh Mohammed Al Qardaie, a tribal leader fighting the Houthis in southern Marib province, on Monday told The National that the rebels had pushed hundreds of young recruits to the front line since their assault on the region began in February.

"They use them in the first attacks as an attrition tactic to wear down our forces and try to penetrate our ranks before they send in the experienced fighters," he said.

Field reports and media confessions made by the Houthi militia confirm the high number of children killed in suicide attacks, Mr Al Eryani told the state-run Yemeni News Agency.

He called on the international community, the UN, and human rights and child protection organisations to take action against the Houthis' recruitment of children.