This marks a major increase — 30 children were used in bombings for all of 2016 in those four countries, where Boko Haram is active.
UNICEF says 117 children have been used in suicide attacks since 2014. Eighty percent of them were girls.
The horrifying pattern is a sign of shifting strategy for Boko Haram, now waging its eighth year of conflict. "The insurgency has changed its tactics over the course of the conflict, from holding towns and territory to a guerrilla-style insurgency that uses hit and run attacks and improvised explosive devices," UNICEF says.
That shift is clear in the numbers: Four were used in suicide attacks in 2014, 56 in 2015, and 30 in 2016."
Read article by Merrit Kennedy from NPR.