The military in Nigeria has been fighting the insurgent group Boko Haram for eight years and vigorously inspects men and women for suicide vests. In response, the group increasingly has enlisted children to carry out such attacks.

According to a recent report from UNICEF, there were 27 suicide attacks by children in the first quarter of 2017 in Nigeria, up from nine in the same period last year.

Ashley Gilbertson traveled to sites of these bombings to photograph the daily life that is disrupted by such tragedies. Gilbertson wrote an essay for The Post’s Outlook section. Here is an excerpt:

“When I go to places that have been bombed, they look nothing like the ghastly images we see all too frequently: There are no destroyed buildings; no severed limbs dangling from tree branches; no mushroom clouds of smoke or scent of charred flesh. Instead, I see children running and playing on the streets; the scent of spiced sweet tea lingers in the air; women are deep-frying crushed-up beans to sell to shoppers for breakfast; men gather at mosques, chatting in the dawn light before facing Mecca to pray. The war can feel distant at times like that, but it can also feel never-ending.”

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