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Child Suicide Attempts Have Increased In Syrian Town Of Madaya: Charity

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The horrors of the war in Syria have become so "psychologically crushing" that child suicide attempts have risen in one town.

Save The Children said in a statement on Wednesday that medical staff in Madaya reported at least six teenagers, as well as "seven young adults," have attempted suicide in the past two months.

The youngest of them is a 12-year-old girl, according to the NGO.

madaya syria
A general view shows the town of Madaya in Syria on Jan. 14. (Photo: Omar Sanadiki/Reuters)

"Doctors say hundreds more people are suffering from psychological problems and mental illness including severe depression and paranoia, often brought on or exacerbated by the conditions they are living in," the charity added.

'We don’t need sympathy'

Madaya, which is held by rebel fighters, has been under siege by Syrian government troops and Hezbollah forces since July 2015, according to CNN.

Save The Children said prior to the siege, there were almost no cases of attempted suicides.

The charity interviewed a local teacher, Rula, who said the devastating circumstances have taken a mental toll on her students.

madaya syria
A member of the Syrian pro-government forces stands at the entrance of the rebel-held Syrian town of Madaya on Jan. 14, 2016. (Photo: Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images)

"When we do activities like singing with them, they don’t react at all, they don’t laugh like they would normally. They draw images of children being butchered in the war, or tanks, or the siege and lack of food," she told the organization.

"We don’t need sympathy, we need help in this crisis."

In January, disturbing reports and photographs of residents starving to death in Madaya emerged, according to Al Jazeera.

Doctors Without Borders said at the time that hundreds were suffering from malnutrition, despite some long-awaited aid convoys finally reaching the town.

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