At least seven children were killed during the attack on a village in northwestern Syria over the weekend, a UN spokesman said on Monday, Xinhua reports.

“The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that at least seven children have been killed in an attack this weekend on the village of Mhambel,” said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The Saturday attack brought the number of children killed in the besieged-region so far this year to at least 140, Haq said.

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore issued a statement saying these deaths add to the mounting child casualties caused by intensifying violence over the past few weeks.

Fore urged the parties of the conflict and those who have influence over them to ensure that children in northwestern Syria and across the country are protected from the ongoing violence.

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In September 2018, Russia and Turkey brokered a cease-fire for Idlib in northwestern Syria, which was the last major stronghold of the rebels. The agreement averted a government offensive on the area.

However, the United Nations reported attacks by terrorist groups as well as close military exchanges between the Syrian government and Turkish observation posts in Idlib. The fighting has taken a toll on the civilian population.