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UNICEF confirms the presence of minors in a prison in Syria attacked by ISIS

UNICEF added that the agency is ready to help support a new safe place in northeastern Syria to care for the most vulnerable children, some of whom are as young as 12 years old.

The statement came a day after a visit by a UNICEF team to Ghweran prison in the northeastern city of Hasaka.

The UNICEF team said after visiting a number of children in prison, on Saturday, that the children have been living in appalling conditions in the detention center for years, and in January they “witnessed and survived extreme violence” in and around the prison.

The visit comes two days after the killing of ISIS leader, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi, in a US raid targeting his hideout in northwestern Syria.

US President Joe Biden said Qureshi was responsible for the Ghweran prison attack.

There are more than three thousand prisoners, including about six hundred children, in Ghweran prison known as the industry prison.

‘Extremely turbulent situation’

“Although some basic services are now provided (in prison), the situation of these children is extremely precarious,” Bo Victor Nylund, UNICEF Representative in Syria, said in the statement.

Children were held separately from adults, but groups of inmates mixed when ISIS militants stormed the prison on January 20.

Some of the prison inmates managed to escape, while others, including children, were taken hostage, during the battle that followed the attack.

“The children should not have been put there in the first place,” Nylund said, adding that UNICEF is working to provide them with safety and care, while calling on all parties involved to urgently find long-term solutions that best serve the interests of these children.

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