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Pak rescues 200 kids being trained as suicide bombers

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 17:47

Islamabad: About 200 boys, some as young as six years, were rescued by Pakistani security forces from Taliban camps in the lawless Swat valley where they were being "brainwashed" and trained to become suicide bombers.
The troops have kept the children in Mardan area where
they will go through "mental rehabilitation" with the help of
psychiatrists so that they can return to a normal life.

The boys, whose age ranges between 6 and 13 years, have
been so thoroughly "brainwashed" that they consider all others
as "infidels", senior North West Frontier Province Minister
Bashir Bilour was quoted as telling the Geo News channel.

"These children have brainwashed in a way that now they
even want to kill their own parents," he said, adding, however
they were not administered any drugs.

Bilour said some children were pleased when they were
handed over to their parents. But, a few days later, the
parents came back with complaints that the boys are now
threatening to "kill them", the report said.

Several would-be suicide bombers had been rescued from
the captivity of militants, Mingora commander Brigadier Tahir
Hameed also told the media.

"We are trying to bring them back on track," he said
adding, "arrangements are now being made to enrol them in
schools with free boarding and lodging and give them monthly

He said the Taliban turned to children for using them as
suicide bombers because they were easily influenced and less
likely to be caught while undertaking an operation.

"They are told that the Pakistani Army has become an
enemy of Islam, as it is fighting for Christians and Jews,"
said a senior official involved in the interrogation of
potential suicide bombers who have been captured.

On the day of a planned attack, the suicide bomber is
taken to a mosque to be congratulated for being chosen by the
God. "Sometimes he is also heavily drugged before the attack,"
The Nation newspaper quoted the brigadier as saying.

Pakistan Air Force yesterday destroyed one such suicide
bombing training centre in the restive Khyber tribal region.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 17:47
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