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On June 17, at least 30 people were killed and 40 injured in a triple suicide attack in northeast Nigerian state of Borno – the largest mass killing this year by Islamist militants, according to Reuters.
UNICEF has condemned the use of children as suicide bombers in the attack on Monday, confirming that two underage girls and a boy blew themselves up at a community viewing football centre in the Konduga area of Borno State.
While no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks on Borno, Boko Haram and its splinter group Islamic State have been active in the region for ten years and are known for their use of children as weapons of war.
In 2018, 48 children died as suicide bombers, while more than 83 children suffered a similar fate in 2017.
“UNICEF condemns the use of children as human bombs and in any combat or non-combat roles in the conflict in northeast Nigeria,” the agency said in a statement.
“It is unacceptable that children should be used in this way. UNICEF appeals to all those involved in this terrible conflict to protect children at all times and to keep them out of harm’s way.
We again call on all parties to the conflict in northeast Nigeria to immediately cease all attacks against civilians, to stop using children in this conflict, and to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law,” the agency added.
UNICEF said the incident brought to five the number of children used as human bombs this year.
Click here to read the press release in full.