Egyptian children 'slaughtered' in Syria's Al-Hol camp: reports

Egyptian children 'slaughtered' in Syria's Al-Hol camp: reports
2 min read
15 November, 2022
Two Egyptian children aged 10 and 13 were 'slaughtered' at Syria's notorious, over-populated Al-Hol camp, which is known for its rampant violence.
Extremists in the Al-Hol camp are believed to be behind the attack [Getty/file photo]

Two Egyptian girls have been found dead in Syria's notorious northeastern Al-Hol camp, security personnel and local media reported on Tuesday.

The girls, Hafsa, 10, and Khadija, 13, were forensically examined and found to have been "slaughtered" with a "sharp object" by an unknown individual for unknown reasons, an anonymous source told the Syrian North Press Agency.

Children make up 64 percent of the over-populated camp, which is known for rampant violence and is home to over 50,000 people.

It includes the relatives of suspected Islamic State group militants and other displaced Syrians, according to aid agencies.

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Extremists in the camp are believed to be behind the attack, the source said, which ended with the girls being thrown in "sewage water". They were found at the camp on Monday, a Kurdish security source told AFP.

Investigations are currently underway to find the perpetrator.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) said it was "horrified" at the children’s killing.

"This latest incident involving the deaths of children in the camp highlights the urgent need for longer-term solutions for children in Al-Hol," Tanya Evans, IRC's country director in Syria, said.

"Syrian children should be safely reintegrated into their local communities and foreign children should be repatriated to their countries of origin in a safe and dignified way."

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The Al-Hol camp is administered by semi-autonomous Kurdish forces and is the largest camp for displaced people who fled after the Kurdish groups, backed by a US-led coalition, dislodged Islamic State group fighters from the last scraps of their Syrian territory in 2019.

Earlier this month, Doctors Without Borders compared the fate of the thousands of children living in Al-Hol to being in "a giant open-air prison".

Many of the camp's child detainees were born there and are "exposed to violence and exploitation, with no education, limited medical support and no hope in sight", according to the aid agency’s Syria operations manager, Martine Flokstra.

Kurdish authorities have repeatedly called on foreign countries to repatriate their citizens from Syria's crowded camps.

But most have done so only sporadically, fearing security threats and a domestic political backlash.