The Paw Print

Girls forced into suicide bombing

River Finnegan, News and Feature Editor, Online Editor-in-Chief

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Boko Haram has a long history of kidnapping young girls and imprisoning them to carry out suicide missions. A study at Yale University revealed that out of the other 338 suicide bombings carried about by Boko Haram, 244 were carried out by women.

Boko Haram is a terrorist group based out of Nigeria, mostly in the Yobe, Kano, Bauchi, Borno, and Kaduna regions that opposes western ideologies. Bombings, shootings, and attacks on the Nigerian government as well as surrounding countries have been subject to their attacks since the early 2000s.

Ellen Chapin, a Yale-based researcher, told CNN News the group deployed 42 teenage girls and 23 little girls (12 years-old and under). Only 11 teenage boys and five little boys were reported to be used in the bombings.

Recently, a small number of girls escaped the terrorist group and spoke out about the pain and suffering they endured. Eighteen girls spoke to writers at New York Times, recalling their thoughts as they walked with bombs strapped around their waists.

“They brought out a belt and tied it to my waist and showed me a button to press,” Nana, 15, said to a New York Times reporter.

Another girl, Aisha, 15, recalled being asked to choose between sleeping with militant soldiers or participating in the suicide bombings.

CNN News reports survivors who have escaped from Boko Haram are still susceptible to sexual abuse. Human Rights Watch, a nonprofit organization, reports male soldiers associated with Boko Haram are trained to rape and sexually abuse their female prisoners.

Boko Haram was also responsible for the 276 kidnapped girls that sparked the “BringBackOurGirls” campaign in 2014. The first girl, Amina Ali Nkeki, was the only one to be released from the original kidnapped girl in early 2016. Boko Haram released a ransom video of the rest of the girls a month later, demanding the return of their imprisoned fighters.
In early 2017, 82 girls were released after negations were made between the organization and the Nigerian government.

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Girls forced into suicide bombing