Armed groups in Pakistan continue to recruit children, including those from madrassas, and allegedly use them for suicide attacks, according to a UN report released on Thursday.
The annual report of the UN Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict said the Pakistan-based terror outfits have released videos of children being taught how to carry out suicide attacks.
“In Pakistan, the United Nations continued to receive reports of the recruitment and use of children, including from madrasas, and allegations of the use of children by armed groups for suicide attacks,” said the report covering the January-December 2017 period.
“In January, Tehrike Taliban Pakistan released a video showing children, including girls, being instructed how to perpetrate suicide attacks,” it said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “concerned” by the continued attacks on schools by armed groups, particularly the targeting of girls’ education.
He called on the Pakistan government to prioritise measures to deter future attacks on schools.
The report also said while the age-disaggregated data on civilian casualties were limited, incidents of children killed and injured in attacks in Pakistan by armed groups continued to be reported.
It cited the February suicide attack in Sehwan in the Sindh Province in which at least 75 people, including 20 children, were reportedly killed.
Eight attacks on educational facilities and students were also reported, four targeting girls’ education, it said.
In March, unidentified individuals vandalised the Oxford Public School in Ghizer Valley of the Gilgit-Baltistan and threatened to bomb the school if female teachers did not cover themselves.
In the same month, a girls’ school located in Qila Abdullah in the restive Balochistan Province was damaged in an attack through the use of improvised explosive devices, it said.
Taliban militants stormed military-run Army Public School in the northwestern city of Peshawar in December 2014, killing at least 150 people, mostly children.