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One Million Children Have Fled Syria Since Crisis Began, UN Says

BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- One million Syrian children have been forced to flee their country since a civil war erupted there more than two years ago, the United Nations reports.

The organization calls the finding a "shameful milestone."

“This one millionth child refugee is not just another number,” UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said in a statement released on Friday.  “This is a real child ripped from home, maybe even from a family, facing horrors we can only begin to comprehend.”

“We must all share the shame,” Lake continued, “because while we work to alleviate the suffering of those affected by this crisis, the global community has failed in its responsibility to this child.  We should stop and ask ourselves how, in all conscience, we can continue to fail the children of Syria.”

The U.N. says children now make up half of all refugees fleeing Syria and close to three quarters of them are under the age of 11.  Another two million of them have been displaced within Syria.

To date, more than 100,000 people have been killed since the crisis began in Syria in March 2011, when Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began a government crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.  And there appears to be no end in sight.

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