FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 41 Would-Be Child Suicide Bombers Intercepted by Afghan Police
Feb 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm
February 24, 2012 – NEW YORK – The Children Rights Institute (CRI) condemns the continued indoctrination of children in the AF-Pak region and, specifically, the recent attempt by Islamist groups to bring 41 children from Afghanistan to pro-Jihadi madrassas in Pakistan and use them as suicide bombers. The children are reportedly aged between 6 and 11.
Hizb-i-Islami, one of Afghanistan's main insurgent factions, is believed to have lied to the families of these children, stating that the young boys would be taken to free schools and provided with an education, housing, and meals.
Afghan intelligence officials have blamed insurgent groups such as Hizb-i-Islami for being behind a recent resurgence of child suicide bombers, with little government or NATO pushback.
As the United States continues to reduce troop numbers in Afghanistan and Pakistan remains a questionable ally in the U.S.-led mission against Islamist militants in the Af-Pak region, children will become increasingly vulnerable to indoctrination by militant Islamists. Many governments have repeatedly condemned the use of children in armed conflict, but very little has been done to combat it where it is happening.
CRI reasserts its position that until United States military strategy includes soft power, specifically encouraging our allies to address the condition of children in war-torn regions such as Afghanistan, no change will come once western military forces leave. This includes conditioning western financial support of the current Afghan government on a showing of measures being taken to remedy the problem.
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