Islamist group Boko Haram is increasingly forcing children to carry out suicide bombings – often drugging them before missions, according to UNICEF.
At least 117 suicide attacks have been carried out by young people in the Lake Chad basin region since 2014, with nearly 80% of the bombs strapped to girls, a new report says.
UNICEF’s Marie-Pierre Poirier said the mere sight of children at checkpoints and markets was sparking fear – meaning almost 1,500 children were detained last year across Nigeria, Cameron, Niger and Chad.
Ms Poirier said: “These children are victims, not perpetrators. Forcing or deceiving them into committing such horrific acts is reprehensible.”