Afghans rescue 41 child suicide bombers

Kabul - The Afghan government said on Monday that police had rescued 41 children from becoming suicide bombers as they were about to be smuggled across the mountains into Pakistan.

Interior ministry spokesperson 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 Kunar province.

He told AFP 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 Afghanistan".

Police arrested the four suspects and the children were returned to their families, the spokesperson 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.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
15.60
+0.8%
Rand - Pound
19.71
+0.6%
Rand - Euro
16.74
+0.8%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.17
-0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.8%
Gold
1,853.67
+0.2%
Silver
22.11
+0.4%
Palladium
2,074.50
+2.7%
Platinum
957.50
+0.7%
Brent Crude
117.40
+2.9%
Top 40
63,883
+1.4%
All Share
70,486
+1.4%
Resource 10
76,948
+0.6%
Industrial 25
76,115
+1.3%
Financial 15
16,257
+2.5%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE