Kabul: The Afghan government said Monday that police had rescued 41 children from becoming suicide bombers as they were about to be smuggled across the mountains into
Interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told a news
conference that the children aged six to 11 had been released
on February 15 from the clutches of four insurgents in eastern
He said their families "were fooled by
terrorists", who promised to send them to seminaries in
Pakistan where they would be "brainwashed" and "prepared for
suicide bombings against Afghan and international troops in
Police arrested the four suspects and the children
were returned to their families, the spokesman said.
The Afghan government has accused madrassas in
Pakistan of teaching violent extremism and sponsoring Islamist
violence, a legacy of Afghanistan`s 1979-89 US and
Pakistani-sponsored mujahideen uprising against Soviet troops.
On February 12, Afghan authorities announced the
arrest of two 10-year-old would-be suicide bombers allegedly
planning to attack Afghan and international forces in the
southern province of Kandahar, the Taliban`s birthplace.
They had been reportedly released last August, along
with 18 other children, after receiving a pardon from Afghan
President Hamid Karzai.
The Taliban, which is leading a 10-year insurgency
against Karzai`s government and 130,000 US-led foreign troops,
have reportedly used children and teenagers to conduct attacks
on security forces.