Boko Haram Attacks Involving Children


A group of children
Boko Haram has used children as suicide bombers in northeast Nigeria.
Photo: World Watch Monitor

After a period of relative calm, the Far North region of Cameroon, along the Nigerian border, has witnessed an upsurge of attacks by Boko Haram. On August 17th, a church elder was killed in a night raid carried out by the militant Islamic group on Moskota village. Adamu Nguda, formerly a church elder in Mouldougwa, had been previously displaced to live as an "internally displaced person" in Moskota. Adamu's killers also kidnapped his six children -- who are between the ages of three and 15 -- leaving his wife behind in a state of total shock.

In a separate attack on the same day, attackers burned the house of Lazare Mahama, another Christian, along with an undetermined number of properties. The militant group also stole Lazare's wallet which contained money and identification documents.

Earlier on August 6th, eight children were killed in a suicide bombing attack that took place in the town of Amchide. The suicide bomber, who happened to be a young child, met the other children while they played outside in the evening -- then detonated his bombs. All eight children had regularly attended Sunday school at the Union of Evangelical Church in Amchide. These recent attacks have reignited fear in local Christians, causing some of them to flee their homes.

Unfortunately, the recourse to involve children as suicide bombers is nothing new. Since the beginning of this year alone, the group has sent out four times as many child suicide bombers in northeastern Nigeria as the recorded total for 2016. Since January 1st, 2017, 83 children have been used as bombers (55 girls, mostly under 15 years old, and 27 boys). One was a baby strapped to a girl. In the previous year, 19 children were used in such atrocious attacks.

Ask the Lord to mightily intervene on behalf of all the abducted children, prompting the kidnappers to safely return them to their distraught families. Pray also that His protection will be upon these vulnerable young members of Africa's communities -- whether they reside in Cameroon or Nigeria -- and that the terrorists' reign of violence will come to an end. In the meanwhile, may the Lord be dramatically at work... bringing greatly needed comfort to the grieving families of the slain victims, providing ministry and deliverance to those who've been abducted, and by changing the calloused hearts of the perpetrators so they will instead reflect the loving-kindness and compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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