At least 89 boys, some as young as 13, were abducted by an armed group in South Sudan, the United Nations children’s agency said Saturday.
The abductions took place near Malakal in the northern part of the country, UNICEF said in a statement. The actual number could be higher, the agency added.
Armed soldiers surrounded the area and searched house to house in the community of Wau Shilluk in Upper Nile State, taking boys older than 12 by force, witnesses told UNICEF.
The abductions were carried out while the children were taking exams. UNICEF didn’t say what group may be responsible for the kidnappings.
In the past year, 12,000 children — mostly boys — have been recruited and used as soldiers by armed forces and groups in South Sudan, according to the United Nations.”
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