Date: 31/10/2020
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Teenage bombers are rescued from Taleban suicide training camps

From The Times
Murad Ali, one of five schoolboy suicide bombers rescued from a Taleban training camp, looks haggard beyond his 13 years.
He was thrilled at first when he was given a gun, but Murad told The Times last week of his ordeal at the hands of the Islamists, who have kidnapped 1,500 children like him to prepare for their fatal missions.
Murad was studying in class five in Mingora, the main city in northwest Pakistan’s Swat Valley, when the Islamists abducted him and took him to their remote mountain base in Chuprial.
The next stage of his training included 16 hours a day of physical exercise and psychological indoctrination. “My instructor told me that martyrdom is the biggest reward of Allah,” Murad said quietly.
Another boy, Abdul Wahab, 15, said that the Taleban lured him to the camp from his studies at a madrassa — Islamic school — in Mingora. “I was told that it was a religious duty of every Muslim to get training to fight the enemies of Islam,” he said.
He said that he did not appreciate what he would be asked to do. “I panicked when a few days later I was told that I would be getting training for suicide bombing,” he said.
The Army believes that between 1,200 to 1,500 boys as young as 11 who were trained in Swat to become suicide bombers were recruited after the Pakistani Government signed a peace deal with the Taleban in February, handing over control of the valley to the militants.
The boys were rescued after the Taleban were forced to abandon their camps. Many are still missing, however, having been sold to militants in other areas.
The Taleban turned to children as potential suicide bombers because they were impressionable, less likely to be detected, and better able to reach their targets.
“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 surrendered or been captured.
On the day of a planned attack, the designated suicide bomber is taken to a mosque to be congratulated for being chosen by God. “Sometimes he is also heavily drugged before the attack,” the official said.
The children were told that they should not allow anyone, even their parents, to get in the way of jihad. “You must not hesitate even to kill your parents if they are on the wrong side,” said Kurshid Khan, 14,
A recent UN report said that 80 per cent of the bombers involved in attacks in Afghanistan came from camps in Pakistan. The army has set up a rehabilitation centre for the children to help them to return to their former lives.