Page last updated at 21:04 GMT, Thursday, 8 April 2010 22:04 UK

Yemen child bride 'bleeds to death'


A 13-year-old Yemeni girl has died of internal bleeding three days after being married, rights groups say.

The report comes amid ongoing debate on setting a minimum age for brides in Yemen, where more than a quarter of girls are married before the age of 15.

A 2009 law setting the minimum age at 17 was repealed after some lawmakers said it was un-Islamic. A final decision is due this month.

There was no official confirmation of the death by Yemeni officials.

The girl, said to have been married to a man in his 20s, died in the west of the country last week, the Arab Sisters Forum (Saf) rights group said.

A medical report by the hospital where she was treated said she had suffered a tear to her genitals and severe bleeding after intercourse, the group said.

In a statement obtained by the Reuters news agency, Unicef's regional director, Sigrid Kaag, said the UN child agency was "dismayed by the death of yet another child bride in Yemen".

Human rights groups have been pressurising the authorities to outlaw family-arranged child marriages in Yemen, which has a tribal social structure.

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