An 8-year-old girl has died of internal bleeding after marrying a 40-year-old man in Yemen.
Although officials have denied the news, Yemen locals have come out in their numbers to protest the shocking death of the minor. Highlighting the dangers and cruelty involved in child bride stories, the young girl identified as Rawan died on her wedding night after first intercourse.
Arwa Othman, head of Yemen's House of Folklore and a leading rights campaigner, said the girl was married to a 40-year-old late last week in the town of Meedi in Hajjah province, north-western Yemen.
"On the wedding night and after intercourse, she suffered from bleeding and uterine rupture which caused her death. They took her to a clinic but the medics couldn't save her life,'' Othman said.
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Othman said authorities had not taken any action against the girl's family or her husband.
A security official in the provincial town of Haradh denied any such incident had taken place. He did not want to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the press. But two Meedi residents contacted by Reuters confirmed the incident and said tribal chiefs had tried to cover up the incident when the news broke, warning a local journalist against covering the story.
This is not a scarce case in Yemen as a number of poor families marry off young daughters to save on the costs of bringing them up and also to make money from the dowry.