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BAN ‘APPALLED’ BY REPORTED USE OF MINOR IN PAKISTAN SUICIDE BOMBING

By United Nations
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10 February - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is “appalled” by reports that a minor was used to carry out today's suicide attack on an army recruitment centre in Mardan in northwest Pakistan that led to numerous deaths and injuries, his spokesperson said.

According to media reports, a boy wearing a school uniform walked into the compound and blew himself up, killing at least 27 people, including several army recruits, and injuring many more.

“The Secretary-General strongly condemns today's suicide bombing,” his spokesperson said in a statement. “He is appalled by the reported use of a minor to commit this terrorist act.”

Mr. Ban extended his condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Pakistan.

The Secretary-General's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict also voiced concern about the reported use of a young person in today's attack.

“I am deeply distressed by the use of a young boy in a suicide attack today in Pakistan and condemn those who manipulate or kill innocent children to achieve political goals,” Radhika Coomaraswamy said in a statement.

“Today's crime is an unfortunate reminder of the changing nature of war where civilians are more frequently targets or unwilling participants. I urge all parties to conflict everywhere to protect civilians and keep children out of the fighting.”