Relevant & Timely News
Mar 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm
Suicide Bomber Kills 36 at Funeral in NW Pakistan, The Associated Press, March 9, 2011. At least 36 mourners were killed by a suicide bomb attack at a funeral attended by anti-Taliban militiamen, near Peshawar, Pakistan. More than 100 others were injured by the explosion. Witnesses said that the bomber appeared to be in his late teens. The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, said to be the "deadliest militant attack in the country this year." The full article is available here.
Pashtun Boys' Video Exalts Suicide Raids, The New York Times, March 5, 2011. An amateur video recently posted on YouTube shows Afghan or Pakistani Pashtun boys enacting a suicide bombing. In the video, while a "favorite Taliban song" plays in the background, the boy acting the part of the suicide bomber bids farewell to his friends, walks toward another boy said to represent an official and, to simulate the explosion, kicks up a cloud of dust. Three other boys who appear to be playing security force members, as well as the "official," collapse to the ground. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Majuhid indicated that, although insurgents did not make the video, the Taliban approved: "The positive aspect of the video is that it motivates the children for jihadi ideas . . . [and] gives them courage for this kind of work." Although "children should not do this kind of work at this age," said Majuhid, "they should prepare themselves for sacrifice." The full article is available here.
Child Soldiers in Libya, March 2011. The Times (UK) reported that soldiers sent by Col. Gaddafi to fight rebels near Brega, Libya were "no more than children." According to the article, another member of the rebel army said, "It's crazy, [Gaddafi] was using children...," and a morgue worker revealed that deceased soldiers looked as young as 12 years old. NPR correspondent Lourdes Garcia Navarro also reported that she witnessed a small group of young pro-Gaddafi fighters who were captured by rebels outside of Brega and that the youngest boy, who said he was from Niger, was about 13 years old.
Calls to Penalize Thailand's Child Soldier Recruitment, All Headline News, March 4, 2011. Following a recent study by the Working Group for Justice and Peace, a Bangkok-based NGO, and the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, based in London, organizations are now calling for harsher penalties and better enforcement of laws criminalizing the recruitment of child soldiers in southern Thailand. The study found evidence that boys under age 18 were associated with village defense militias in more than 65% of the 19 villages surveyed. Another report provided that the government-established militias were providing weapons training to children between the ages of 9 and 17. Additionally, the study found that more than 100 children between the ages of 14 and 18 were imprisoned from 2004-2009 for suspected involvement with armed revolt. The full article is available here.