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Children of war: When tanks replace toys

August 04, 2014 11:27 IST

Children of war: When tanks replace toys

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The conflicts in Syria, Gaza and Libya are devastating, even worse is its impact on children. Innocence is lost amid the sound of explosions and armed battles.

Tanks and guns make for strange toys. These images tell us the heart-wrenching story of children of war.

Children play on and near a Free Syrian Army tank in Mount Azzan, southern Aleppo countryside.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Children of war: When tanks replace toys

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Children play on an abandoned tank in Benghazi, Libya.

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Photographs: Mohammed Salem/Reuters

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Children of war: When tanks replace toys

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Mohammad (right), a 13 year-old fighter from the Free Syrian Army, aims his weapon as he runs from snipers loyal to the Syrian regime in Aleppo's Bustan al-Basha district. 

Mohammad joined the Free Syrian Army after his father died during clashes with the Syrian regime. The gun he is using was his father's.

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Photographs: Molhem Barakat/Reuters

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Children of war: When tanks replace toys

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A girl plays on an old tank at the Israeli army's Armoured Corps' Memorial in Latrun, near Jerusalem.


Photographs: Amir Cohen/Reuters

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Children of war: When tanks replace toys

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Boys attend a 'military-styled' training in the Hama countryside.

A group of boys formed their own unit a month and a half ago and said they have been "training" on a daily basis. Most of the boys in the unit have relatives in the rebel Free Syrian Army.

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Photographs: Nour Fourat/Reuters

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Children of war: When tanks replace toys

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A Palestinian boy holds an Israeli artillery shell as he walks next to the remains of a house after it was demolished by Israeli troops before they pulled out from Rafah camp in the southern Gaza strip.

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Photographs: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters
Tags: Rafah , Gaza

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Children of war: When tanks replace toys

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Naser, a 12-year-old boy, is seen inside an ammunition depot at a safehouse in Maarshmarein village, in the countryside of Maaret al-Naaman, in Idlib.

According to the Free Syrian Army, Naser assists with the general upkeep of the safe house.

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Photographs: Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

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Children of war: When tanks replace toys

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Children are seen on a troop carrier at Ras al-Ain village near Yabroud town in Damascus countryside.

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Photographs: Reuters
Tags: Damascus

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Children of war: When tanks replace toys

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A Free Syrian Army fighter and a boy hold up weapons on a street at the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, near the border with Turkey.

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Photographs: Hamid Khatib/Reuters

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Children of war: When tanks replace toys

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A child mans a roadside stall with weapons and ammunition displayed for sale in the souk of Raqqa province in east Syria. The placard reads: 'Selling, buying and repairing all kinds of weapons and ammunition'.

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Photographs: Hamid Khatib/Reuters
Tags: Syria , Raqqa

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Children of war: When tanks replace toys

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A Palestinian boy holds an automatic rifle weapon during a Fatah rally against Hamas in the West Bank city of Jenin. 

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Photographs: Abed Omar Qusini/Reuters

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Palestinian students crawl during a military-styled exercise routine at a course conducted by the Hamas-run ministry of education, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. 


Photographs: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

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Children of war: When tanks replace toys

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Palestinian boy Mahmoud Haniyeh (left), 13, aims a wooden gun during a military-style exercise at a summer camp organized by the Hamas movement in Gaza City June 17.

Tens of thousands of children from the Gaza Strip spend at least part of their holidays in special summer camps, arranged around a wide array of activities. Some, organised by the United Nations, offer sports, art and dance classes. Others, laid on by Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas, include fun and games, while seeking to reinforce religious values and awareness of the conflict with Israel.

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Photographs: Mohammed Salem/Reuters

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Palestinian youths throw stones, in protest of Israel's interception of a convoy of Gaza-bound aid ships, towards Israeli border police in Jerusalem's Old City.


Photographs: Ammar Awad/Reuters

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A Palestinian boy rests in front of an Israeli tank guarding the Jewish settlement of Neve Dekalim, southern Gaza Strip. 


Photographs: Reuters

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