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300,000 child soldiers forced into combat: UN

January 31, 2008

A report from the United Nations suggests about 300,000 children are being forced to fight in wars around the world.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's report describes how militant groups in Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East are enlisting children, often from refugee camps.

It says there has been a surge of activity along the Congolese, Rwandan and Sudanese border regions and gives comprehensive accounts of attacks on schools in Afghanistan, Iraq and Thailand.

Of growing concern is the use of children as decoys for Iraqi suicide bombers.

On March 21 last year, two children were reportedly used to get a car bomb through a checkpoint in Bagdad and died when it was detonated, killing three others.

The report includes a "list of shame" and recommends the Security Council gives equal attention to all countries on the list.

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