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Child suicide bombers ‘on the rise’

Child suicide bombers ‘on the rise’
April 12
22:52 2016

Children as young as eight years old are being used as Boko Haram suicide bombers, UNICEF has told Thompson Reuters Foundation.


The Nigerian government under the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, had an announced that it had “technically defeated” Boko Haram.

Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s President, had said the group is unable to carry out “conventional attacks” in the north-east.

Critics have faulted the president’s assertion. But what has been generally observed is surge in suicide bombings in public places and children, mostly female, strapped with explosives, have carried out the attacks.


“The use of children, especially girls, as so-called suicide bombers has become a defining and alarming feature of this conflict,” Laurent Duvillier, regional spokesman for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), told the foundation.

Duvillier said the children are being turned against their own communities.

He said some of the children do not even know they are carrying explosives that are often detonated remotely.


He said West Africa had 44 cases of suicide bombing compared to the four that happened in 2014.

The suicide attacks mostly happened in Nigeria and Cameroon.

Boko Haram’s nearly seven year insurgency has wiped out over 17, 000 lives and displace close to 2 million people.

In a research done by Amnesty International where it interviewed a few victims and survivor, the organisation said the insurgents have kidnapped about 2,000 women and girls forcing them to marry them, raping them and using them as unpaid domestic servants.


Children are the main victims of the crisis caused by the insurgents, UNICEF said, adding that three-quarters of the suicide bombers have been girls.

The girls, who were kidnapped and forcefully married to the insurgents.


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