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A school in Damascus that has been turned into a military base was hit by a series of bombings today, as a new report details the shocking abuse suffered by children caught in Syria's civil war. The report comes from the British charity Save The Children, which interviewed refugees driven into camps outside of Syria and simply reprints their horrifying stories of arrests, beatings, and torture, even for kids as young six years old.

The published report is mostly direct testimony from the children themselves, all of whom have been the victims of or have witnessed torture. One teenager says he was taken to the school he once attended to find that it had been turned into a torture center. Another saw children as young as six having their fingernails torn out. Even among children who have not been captured or abused, nearly all have seen family members or friends killed and now have to live with the horrible trauma of the atrocities they witnessed.

Even today's attacks on Syrian security services took place at a school that been taken and over re-purposed as a military site. Two different opposition groups claimed responsibility for the bombings, that they targets several high ranking security officers, though no casualties have been officially confirmed. There were also reports today that shells fired at border towns by the Syrian government had landed in the Israeli occupied territory of the Golan Heights, threatening to drag yet another of Syria's neighbors into the conflict.

The entire Syria conflict itself began as result of the torture of children, when adults protested after several teenagers were arrested and beaten for painting anti-regime graffiti. The story below is just one of the terrible scenes witnessed by the Syria refugees and a horrific reminder of what is really happening in this conflict that now raged for 18 months and counting:


I was walking home in Karak, dera’a. I came behind two armed men and overheard  them taking bets on something. They were planning to use something for target practice. When they then agreed the bets I realised they were talking about an eight-year-old boy  who was playing alone on the road. I realised too late – one of them had taken the bet and shot him in the head. Everyone ran and the street was deserted. The child was lying on the street, I couldn’t move. It wasn’t a clean shot and he didn’t die straight away. It took hours. His mother was inside the house on the same street and she  was screaming. She wanted to reach her child, but the men kept firing into the street and taunting this mother: “you can’t get to your child, you can’t get to your child.”He died alone on the street outside his home.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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