BANGKOK/ HONG KONG, 5 February 2014– The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today said it was deeply concerned about the continuing violence against children in Thailand’s restive southernmost provinces, including the killing of three young boys in Narathiwat Province on Monday night.
According to Thai media reports, the boys aged 3, 5 and 9 were shot dead in front of their house by a group of gunmen who opened fire on the family as they returned from prayers at a village mosque. The father and pregnant mother were also injured. Local authorities are investigating whether the incident is related to the conflict in the region.
“UNICEF strongly condemns this attack against innocent children,” said Bijaya Rajbhandari, UNICEF Representative for Thailand. “We are deeply concerned about the continuing violence against children in the far south of Thailand. This must stop. We call upon all parties involved to do everything to ensure that all children do not fall victim to violence.”
According to Deep South Watch, 62 children below the age of 15 have been killed, and 387 others injured, since the current conflict began in January 2004.