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Rights group: Children pressed to fight in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) – An international rights group says Somalia’s militants and government forces are recruiting children to fight and in some cases to serve as “cannon fodder” for adult fighters.

Human Rights Watch said in a Tuesday report that al-Shabab rebels have abducted children from their homes and schools and have abducted girls to serve as wives.

The group also says that government forces have used children as fighters. It called on African Union peacekeepers to release any child soldiers.

The group says Somalia’s weak government has failed to hold anyone accountable. They called on militants to release child soldiers and protect schools from attacks.

Somalia has not had a functioning central government for more than 21 years.

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