2018 Photo Contest, People, Stories, 1st prize

Boko Haram Strapped Suicide Bombs to Them. Somehow These Teenage Girls Survived.

Photographer

Adam Ferguson

The New York Times

21 September, 2017

Maryam, aged 16.

Portraits of girls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants, taken in Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria. The girls were strapped with explosives, and ordered to blow themselves up in crowded areas, but managed to escape and find help instead of detonating the bombs. Boko Haram—a Nigeria-based militant Islamist group whose name translates roughly to ‘Western education is forbidden’—expressly targets schools and has abducted more than 2,000 women and girls since 2014. Female suicide bombers are seen by the militants as a new weapon of war. In 2016, The New York Times reported at least one in every five suicide bombers deployed by Boko Haram over the previous two years had been a child, usually a girl. The group used 27 children in suicide attacks in the first quarter of 2017, compared to nine during the same period the previous year.

About

Adam Ferguson

He studied photography at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. After graduating he traveled from port to port through the Caribbean and Mediterranean as crew on a ...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/200
Focal length
35.0 mm
F-Stop
2.0
ISO
1600

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