An eight-year-old Yemeni girl has died of internal bleeding on her wedding night after marrying a man five times her age, a case that was picked up and spread internationally by English-language news media reviving debate about child brides.
Kuwaiti daily newspaper reported that the young girl named Rawan had died of internal hemorrhaging related to vaginal tearing the night after she was married to a 40-year-old man in northwestern Yemen.
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 authorized 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.
Many poor families in Yemen marry off young daughters to save on the costs of bringing up a child and earn extra money from the dowry given to the girl.
According to UNICEF, around 700 million women in the world today were married while under the age of 18, which increases their chances of leaving school and experiencing domestic violence, and can lead to a lifetime of disadvantage and deprivation.