Growing numbers of babies and toddlers are suffering female genital mutilation as parents adopt new tactics to avoid detection, the country's leading children's charity warned today.

The NSPCC said it believed that parents were having girls cut at a younger age after getting "smart" to the fact that the authorities were focusing on the threat faced by older children.

It said it had received reports from health staff of one and two-year-olds and "even babies" being victims.

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