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A Look at the Most Dangerous Places for Children in 2017

In wars around the globe, thousands of children were front-line targets, used as human shields and recruited to fight this year on “a shocking scale,” Unicef said on Thursday. The United Nations agency warned against normalizing the brutality, a sentiment it has echoed in reports year after year.

Our correspondents have followed the plight of children caught up in war, as well as those suffering from the fall out of these conflicts. Here is a selection of their stories, from the countries outlined in Unicef’s report.

Indiscriminate Violence in Afghanistan

At least 700 children were killed in the first nine months of the year in Afghanistan, Unicef said. As violence in civilian populated areas of the country intensified, children were often caught in the crossfire.

After an explosion at a playground killed five children, our correspondents reported on how “indiscriminate improvised explosive devices” are the biggest cause of casualties among children in Afghanistan.


A Child Bride Leaves Fear Behind

Gul Meena is starting a new life in Sweden after spending five years in a women’s shelter in Afghanistan. The 18-year-old was attacked by her family with an ax after leaving her abusive husband.

Photo by Jim Huylebroek for The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »

Renewed Fighting in the Central African Republic

Fighting flared anew in the Central African Republic, forcing more than 150,000 people from their homes, the highest level since conflict in the country peaked three years ago. Children have been killed, raped, abducted or recruited by armed groups, Unicef said.

Separately, Ugandan troops, on a mission to catch Joseph Kony, the leader of the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army, are facing accusations of rape, sexual slavery and exploitation of young girls.

Source: NYT > World

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