Xinhua, August 27, 2011

Using children as suicide bombers to expose other face of Afghan teens’ plight

It was a shocking scene to see that children ranging from six to 18 years old have been skillfully brainwashed and made ready to carry out suicide attacks

By Abdul Haleem, Zhang Jianhua

Likewise other war-torn countries, the poverty and child labor are common in the war-battered Afghanistan; however, using children as the lethal suicide bombers is a new unimaginable phenomenon that tramples the right of teens in this part of the world.

Virtually, in the modern world it is hard to believe that youngsters can be recruited and used as human bombs against humanity; but it is a fact in Afghanistan as militants fighting Afghan government have been using human bombs -- suicide attackers in bulk.

Local Afghan television channels including the private mini- screen Tolo broadcast the meeting of President Hamid Karzai with a group of 20 would-be suicide bomber children on August 24, apprehended by security forces.

It was a shocking scene to see that children ranging from six to 18 years old have been skillfully brainwashed and made ready to carry out suicide attacks and fragment their precious bodies to kill security forces in Afghanistan.

The footage aired by Tolo television indicated President Karzai sitting in a courtyard of his Palace, asking each of the arrested silly teens but would-be suicide bombers to know the reasons for driving him to become suicide attackers.

One of the children said, "Taliban recruited me and told me to carry out suicide attack in Afghanistan and then straight go to Paradise."

The militancy-hit Afghanistan has been experiencing bloody security incidents particularly suicide bombings over the past few years but few believed that innocent children are used as suicide bombers.

Teaching terror: A chilling picture of a youngster learning how to fire an AK-47 rifle in a camp in North Waziristan. (Photo: Mail Online)

Recruiting armed children by warlords and rival factions during the factional fighting that ploughed Afghanistan in 1990s until 2001 was common but using innocent children as suicide bomber was unbelievable.

Children in each part of the world have the right to get education, enjoy childhood and play childish games. However, in the war-battered Afghanistan, children are suffering and depriving of their rights by one way or other.

More than 4.5 million school aged children in Afghanistan, according to officials, cannot go to school due to variety of reasons above all security concerns.

A would-be suicide bomber child Gul Khan of southern Kandahar province admitted in front of President Karzai that he was sent by his father to a religious school in Pakistan but the school encouraged him to conduct suicide attack in Afghanistan, a statement released by Afghan Presidential Palace said.

"My father sent me to Sharifi Madrassa (Sharify religious school) in Quetta city of Pakistan to study but the Madrassa after one month of teaching me religious subjects equipped five seminaries with suicide vests in my eyes front and sent them to Afghanistan and told me you will be sent on Friday," the statement quoted Gul Khan as saying.

Revealing his ordeal another child Noor Mohammad said that he was studying in a Madrassa in Ghazni province in Afghanistan and one day Taliban equipped him with suicide vest and pistol asking him to target Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) -- a NATO-led civilian-military unit involved in reconstruction activities.

"Taliban equipped me with suicide vest and pistol and asked me to target PRT in Ghazni but I instead surrendered myself to the soldiers guarding the gate of the compound," Noor Mohammad confessed while briefing the President how he was recruited.

Condemning using children as suicide bombers an "act against Islam, violation of human rights and oppressing children," Karzai said that militants fighting Afghan government are trying to bring suicide bombers and destroy the country.

In an effort to change the mind of the would-be suicide bomber children, President Karzai ordered his aides to help them get education, find home or be released to their families.

Taliban militants fighting Afghan and NATO-led troops have largely relied on deadly suicide and roadside bombings. In the latest waves of the deadly suicide attacks for which Taliban outfit claimed of responsibility, four suicide bombers stormed British cultural center, the British Council in Kabul on August 19, killing over ten people and injuring 10 others.

Afghan children as the most vulnerable segment in and economically impoverished Afghanistan would further suffer as long as the instability continues in the war-stricken country.

Editor: yan

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