Relevant & Timely News
May 16, 2011 at 2:55 pm
Kids Learn Hate at Afghan Mosque, CNN, May 12, 2011. In an Afghan mosque used as a madrassa (religious school), young boys are being "raised on a steady diet of anti-western propaganda" and taught to reject anything but strict Sharia law. According to CNN, the boys shouted in unison, "We want our country to be peaceful. They [the United States] are the devil." Another boy was quoted as saying, "The Americans are making the Taliban and Afghans fight each other and then they watch. When they see us fighting, Americans are happy." The article further reports that weapons, explosives, and suicide bomber jackets were discovered inside the mosque earlier this year, adding support to the fears of Afghan authorities that these boys are not only being taught to hate but also to fight for Islam. The full article is available here.
UN Report Warns of Disturbing Trend of Attacks Against Schools During Armed Conflicts, UN News Centre, May 11, 2011. According to the Annual Report of the Secretary- General's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict ("the Report"), attacks against schools and hospitals were reported in at least 15 out of the 22 armed conflicts that were monitored. The trend of attacking schools is on the rise and, while "physical damage or destruction of schools is the most re-occurring violation," schools are also being closed due to military occupation and direct threats. The Report adds that, in addition to destroying the infrastructure of schools, armed actors have attacked, threatened, and intimidated students and educational personnel. The full article is available here.
Moreover, the Report includes the "List of Shame," a list of parties that "recruit or use children, kill or maim children, and/or commit rape and other forms of sexual violence against children in situations of armed conflict." According to BBC News, the Secretary-General's Special Representative stated that no parties had been removed from the list, rather four had been added, two in Yemen and two in Iraq.Still, despite their ongoing use of children as suicide bombers, child soldiers and as human shields, neither Hamas nor Hezbollah appear on the List of Shame, and neither is mentioned anywhere else in the Report (aside from one "incident involving an alleged association with Hamas" [emphasis added]).
Jihad's Child Suicide Bombers, FrontPage Magazine, May 11, 2011. On the first day of its spring offensive, the Taliban used a 12-year-old boy to carry out a suicide bombing in Afghanistan's Paktika province. Four Afghan civilians were killed in the attack and another twelve were wounded. Although the Taliban denies recruiting children to become "human explosives" [see next article], this is the second suicide attack by a child bomber committed during the past few weeks. Afghan officials recently paraded several captured would-be suicide bombers, allegedly trained by Taliban and al Qaeda terrorists, all of whom were under the age of 13. One official stated that a captured bomber believed he would survive the deadly blast because his instructors told him that "the (infidels) will be killed and you will live." The full article is available here.
Taliban Say Bar Juvenile "Beardless" Boys Among Its Ranks, Reuters, May 8, 2011. The Taliban denied Afghan government reports that the militant group was recruiting young boys to commit suicide attacks in Afghanistan, stating that it had imposed a "complete restriction on enlisting beardless or underage boys in [its] jihad operations." CRI disputes the assertion in this article claiming that the use of children as suicide bombers in Afghanistan has been relatively rare since late 2001 [see, for example, "Teen Trained to Be Suicide Bomber Feels Tricked," "The Continued Rise of the Child Suicide Bomber," and CBS News clip "The Road Ahead For Afghanistan"), foreign military commanders have reported encountering "increasingly younger fighters than nine years old," many of whom were coerced into joining the ranks. The full article is available here.
Naxals Increasingly Using Child Soldiers to Swell Its Ranks, India Today, May 8, 2011. Naxalite groups, outlawed militant Communist outfits operating throughout India, are reportedly increasing their recruitment of minors for use as human shields, as well as to swell their ranks. In the past three months, the Maoist CPI (Communist Party of India) has recruited approximately 400 children for its "children's wing." Children between the ages of 6 and 12 are initially used as spies and couriers and are armed with .303 rifles. Children older than 12 are used as fighters and are trained to plant landmines and bombs. The full article is available here.