Children beheaded, as violence rages in Central African Republic

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At least two children have been beheaded in the rising violence in the Central African Republic, the United Nations reported Friday.

Thousands more have been forced into service as soldiers, CNN said.

“We are witnessing unprecedented levels of violence against children. More and more children are being recruited into armed groups, and they are also being directly targeted in atrocious revenge attacks,” said Souleymane Diabate, a representative for UNICEF serving in the nation, CNN reported.

Since Dec. 5, the United Nations has confirmed the killing of 16 children, including two who were beheaded. The number of recruited child soldiers doubled last year, to 6,000, CNN said.

“Targeted attacks against children are a violation of international humanitarian and human rights law and must stop immediately,” UNICEF’s representative said, in the CNN report. “Concrete action is needed now to prevent violence against children.”

Since March, when violence escalated, 785,000 people in the nation have been displaced. The violence has grown out of a rebel coalition aggression against President Francois Bozize. The rebels, named Seleka, ousted him from office, accusing him of failing to uphold the terms of a negotiated peace agreement, CNN reported. Mr. Bozize has since fled to Cameroon.

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