The Current

Boko Haram using young girls as suicide bombers in Nigeria attacks

Two months ago the government of Nigeria announced a technical victory over Boko Haram. But if they've won a war, they are still in a battle as the brutal extremist insurgency shifts tactics and uses children to terrorize communities.
A loaded truck wait to carry people fleeing from Boko Haram Islamists at Mairi village outskirts of Maiduguri capital of northeast Borno State, on Feb. 6, 2016. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

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In 2015, the Global Terrorism Index put out by the Institute of Economics and Peace, ranked Boko Haram as the deadliest terror group in the world. It killed more that 6,600 people in 2014, that's an increase of 300 per cent from the previous year and makes the Boko Haram even more deadly than ISIS. 

In late Dec. 2015, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari declared victory over the militant group Boko Haram. His military's onslaught against the militant group that has terrorized Northern Nigeria for years has reduced it to recruiting young girls to be suicide bombers, instead of executing strategic ground attacks. 

On Feb. 13, Boko Haram attacked two villages, killing 30 people. In another attack, two young girls wearing suicide vests, walked into a camp where some 50,000 displaced people were living, and detonated explosives, killing at least 58 people. 

Children fleeing from Boko Haram Islamists walk past burnt house and carry belongings at Mairi village outskirts of Maiduguri capital of northeast Borno State, on Feb. 6, 2016. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

A consequence of the military crackdown on Boko Haram in Nigeria has been an influx of fighters spilling into neighbouring countries. Several high profile terrorist attacks in West Africa over the past few months are raising concerns that terrorism is a growing regional problem, including the recent January attack in nearby Burkina Faso that killed six Canadians. 

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The Current did ask the Nigerian High Commission in Ottawa for comment on this story but did not receive a response. 

This segment was produced by The Current's Catherine Kalbfleisch.