Boko Haram Terrorist group abducts more than 1,000 children in 5 years - UNICEF

UNICEF noted that the terrorist group regularly targets youngsters to spread fear and show power.

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Journalist Ahmad Salkida says 30 Chibok Girls are alive play 112 of the Chibok girls that were abducted four years ago are yet to regain their freedom, like hundreds of others (BOKO HARAM/AFP/File)
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Boko Haram has abducted more than 1,000 children in Nigeria since 2013, according to a new report by the United Nations Children's Agency (UNICEF).

In the report released on Friday, April 13, 2018, the agency said it had documented more than 1,000 verified cases, with the possibility of a larger number. UNICEF noted that the terrorist group regularly targets youngsters to spread fear and show power.

"They are consistently targeted and exposed to brutal violence in their homes, schools and public places," said UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Mohamed Malick Fall.

"These repeated attacks against children in schools are unconscionable. Children have the right to education and protection, and the classroom must be a place where they are safe from harm," he added.

The report also noted that at least 2,295 teachers have been killed and more than 1,400 schools have been destroyed in the conflict.

"Most of these schools have not reopened because of extensive damage or ongoing insecurity," the report said.

UNICEF's report comes on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the abduction of 276 schoolgirls from Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok, Borno state on April 14, 2014.

Due to the global attention that their abduction gathered, they have become the face of the atrocities being committed by Boko Haram in the northeast. While most of them have regained their freedom through escapes and releases, 112 remain in captivity after four years.

Boko Haram menace

Since the insurgency of the terrorist group escalated after a 2009 crackdown by the military, Boko Haram, chiefly under Abubakar Shekau's leadership, has been responsible for the death of over 20,000 people and the displacement of more than 2.5 million scattered across Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps across the country and its neighbours.

After a massive military operation resulted in the displacement of the group from its Camp Zairo base in the infamous Sambisa Forest, it has resorted to suicide bomb attacks on soft targets and carried out daring attacks on military bases, with hundreds of captives still unaccounted for.

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