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    A girl rescued from Boko Haram's hides her face at the Malkohi camp for internally displaced persons outside Yola, in northeast Nigeria. (File)

    Number of Child Suicide Bombers in Nigeria Regional Conflict Hikes 11-Fold

    © AFP 2019 / STRINGER
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    The number of child suicide bombers in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger soared elevenfold over the past year, a report by the UN children's agency UNICEF revealed on Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to Beyond Chibok report, four children were used as suicide bombers in the region in 2014. In 2015, the number soared to 44, over 75 percent of them girls.

    "Let us be clear: these children are victims, not perpetrators. Deceiving children and forcing them to carry out deadly acts has been one of the most horrific aspects of the violence in Nigeria and in neighbouring countries," Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, was quoted as saying in the report.

    The highest number of child suicide attacks between January 2014 and February 2016, 21, was recorded in Cameroon. Nigeria followed with 17 suicide blasts involving child bombers. In 2015, children were used in 50 percent of attacks in Cameroon, in 14 percent in Nigeria and in 12.5 percent in Chad.

    The overall number of attacks in the region surged from 32 in 2014 to 151 in 2015, including 89 in Nigeria, 39 in Cameroon, 16 in Chad and seven in Niger.

    Most of the suicide attacks are linked to the Boko Haram extremist group, which began large-scale attacks in northeast Nigeria in 2009. In early 2015, the group expanded attacks into neighboring Niger, Cameroon and Chad.

    Related:

    UN Chief Condemns Boko Haram's Use of Children as Suicide Bombers
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    suicide attack, children, UNICEF, Manuel Fontaine, Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon
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