WAR ON INNOCENCE: Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs

CHILDREN IN SHADOW ::: CHILDREN IN WAR

Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs

With schools forced to close, children as young as seven have been recruited by the Shia Houthi rebels

At the entrance of Bab Al-Yemen, Old Sanaa, a waif-like Hassan, dwarfed by his Kalashnikov, stands at a checkpoint. His dark eyes scan vehicles as they pass through.

Like most seven-year-olds in Sanaa, Hassan used to spend his time at school – or playing table football with his friends. That was until three weeks ago.

“Now my school is closed,” he says, carefully scrutinising the white Toyota Yaris entering the old city. In less than a week, Hassan went from being a pupil in class to manning the capital’s checkpoints on behalf of the Houthi rebels. Their takeover of the city last year eventually led…

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