The United Nations children's agency says at least 160 children were killed and 343 were injured in attacks on schools in Syria last year.

UNICEF spokesman Christophe Boulierac says there were at least 68 attacks on schools in Syria in 2014 and there are indications that some of the schools were deliberately targeted.

Boulierac told reporters Tuesday in Geneva an estimated 1.3 million to 1.6 million children are out of school as a result of the nearly four-year conflict that has claimed over 200,000 lives and displaced a third of Syria's population.

He says numerous schools have closed in areas controlled by the Islamic State extremist group, which now rules over vast swaths of Syria and neighboring Iraq.