Boko Haram: 400 lives claimed by deadly 'human bombs' since April
Attacks by Boko Haram have claimed nearly 400 lives in Nigeria and Cameroon since April, Amnesty International says.
Double the amount of deaths in the previous four month period, a rise in young women and girls with detonators carrying out attacks in busy areas killed at least 381 people in the region, according to the rights group.
"This wave of shocking Boko Haram violence, propelled by a sharp rise in suicide bombings, highlights the urgent need for protection and assistance for millions of civilians ... Governments in Nigeria, Cameroon and beyond must take swift action to protect them from this campaign of terror," said Alioune Tine, Amnesty International's director for West and Central Africa.
Four suicide bombers killed 19 civilians in a July attack in Maiduguri. Reports said at least one attacker was a young girl.
“A teenage female suicide bomber actually crept to the sandbag post of our boys at Molai and before they could realize what was happening she detonated herself and killed three of our boys,” said a spokesman for the self-defence group Danbatto Bello.
While the Nigerian government and military insists the fight against the militants is under control, global human rights groups repeatedly report concerns around the attack rate.
"The use of children, especially girls, as human bombs, has now become one of the most defining and alarming features of the conflict in northeastern Nigeria,” said Milen Kidane, UNICEF’s chief of child protection.
At least 30,000 people have been killed in violence led by Boko Haram since 2009 and more than 2.6million are left displaced.
The group claimed to be fighting for an Islamic State in the Northeastern region of Nigeria and parts of Cameroon, Chad and Niger. However it has split into many separate factions over the year and leaders have since issued a range of demands.