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She was married the previous Monday in a traditional arrangement known as a 'swap marriage', in which the brother of the bride also married the sister of the groom, it said.

Sigrid Kaag, regional director for UNICEF, said in a statement that the United Nations child agency was 'dismayed by the death of yet another child bride in Yemen'.'Elham is a martyr of abuse of children's lives in Yemen and a clear example of what is justified by the lack of limits on the age of marriage,' SAF said in a statement.

Further imperilling the effort is the weak government's reluctance to confront the clerics and other conservative tribal officials, whose support is essential to their fragile hold on power.

The issue of Yemen's child brides got widespread attention three years ago when an eight-year-old girl boldly went by herself to a courtroom and demanded a judge dissolve her marriage to a man in his 30s.

He will go there, work there, marry someone else that he actually loves, and all this will cause stress and problems for her.

He sent her a message, saying, We are good friends when others are around, but when it`s just us, we`re very shy.More than a quarter of Yemen's females marry before age 15, according to a report last year by the Social Affairs Ministry.Tribal custom also plays a role, including the belief that a young bride can be shaped into an obedient wife, bear more children and be kept away from temptation.She eventually won a divorce, and legislators began looking at ways to curb the practice.In September, a 12-year-old Yemeni child-bride died after struggling for three days in labour to give birth, a local human rights organisation said.