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Is ISIS turning to more child bombers?

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As the self-declared Islamic State (ISIS) has lost stretches of territory in Iraq and Syria and tens of thousands of fighters, it is relying more on child bombers.

On Sunday, security forces apprehended a 16-year-old with two kilograms of explosives underneath his Barcelona soccer jersey in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk. Earlier that day, a suicide bomber of about the same age killed themselves and six others outside a Shiite mosque in the northern Iraqi city.

ISIS’s increasing deployment of children is a shift in tactics, relying on this destructive and psychological warfare as it loses fighters and territory in Iraq and Syria.

“Child recruitment across the region is increasing,” Juliette Touma, a UNICEF regional spokesperson, told Reuters. “Children are taking a much more active role …, receiving training on the use of heavy weapons, manning checkpoints on the front lines, being used as snipers and in extreme cases being used as suicide bombers.” – READ MORE

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