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UN reports alarming spike in girls and women used in suicide bombings by Boko Haram in Nigeria

FILE - In this Wednesday, June, 25, 2014, file photo, a Nigerian soldier,  center, walks at the scene of an explosion suspected to be set by  Boko Haram extremist  in Abuja, Nigeria. An “alarming spike” in suicide bombings by girls and women abused by Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria has children in danger of being seen as potential threats, the U.N. children’s agency said Tuesday, May 26, 2015. (AP Photo/Olamikan Gbemiga, File)

FILE - In this Wednesday, June, 25, 2014, file photo, a Nigerian soldier, center, walks at the scene of an explosion suspected to be set by Boko Haram extremist in Abuja, Nigeria. An “alarming spike” in suicide bombings by girls and women abused by Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria has children in danger of being seen as potential threats, the U.N. children’s agency said Tuesday, May 26, 2015. (AP Photo/Olamikan Gbemiga, File)  (The Associated Press)

The U.N. children's agency reports an "alarming spike" in suicide bombings by girls and women used by Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria.

It says women and children carried out three-quarters of the 26 suicide attacks reported in 2014 and the 27 seen in just the first five months of this year.

UNICEF said Tuesday that kids are "being used intentionally by adults in the most horrific way."

It's not known how many thousands of children and women have been kidnapped by Boko Haram, with new abductions reported every week. UNICEF estimates 743,000 children have been uprooted by the nearly 6-year-old Islamic uprising, with as many as 10,000 separated from their families in the chaos.

The agency is concerned children will be perceived as potential threats and in danger of retaliation.