Some Nigerian families are donating their children to extremist terrorist group Boko Haram to carry out suicide missions against the country’s military, the country’s army said in a statement Saturday.
Nigerian Army spokesman Sani Usman pleaded with local parents to discontinue the practice as the terrorist group continues its deadly insurgency. “It was discovered that most of these hapless minors were donated to the terrorist sect by their heartless and misguided parents and guardians,” Usman said.
“The acts of these parents and guardians are not only barbaric, but condemnable and unacceptable,” the spokesman added.
Boko Haram has pioneered the use of mostly female suicide bombers in its insurgency against the Nigerian government, frequently kidnapping or cultivating young girls into the practice. At times the group has been known to deploy pregnant women as decoy suicide bombers.
Boko Haram at one point held the moniker of the world’s most deadly terrorist organization, killing nearly 7,000 people in 2015 and became internationally notorious after it abducted nearly 300 young girls from a Nigerian school. The group maintains tenuous connections to the Islamic State, although it traces its roots to an al-Qaida aligned Nigerian Islamist militia.
“Nigerians have a responsibility and obligation to collectively mould our children and wards and define a better future for them rather than condemning them to death by the criminal Boko Haram terrorists and their sympathisers through suicide bombings,” Usman said in his announcement.
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