Taliban using 6 year olds for human bomb attacks

Guardian:

Children as young as six are being used by the Taliban in increasingly desperate suicide missions, coalition forces in Afghanistan claimed yesterday.

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), to which Britain contributes 5,000 troops in southern Afghanistan, revealed that soldiers defused an explosive vest which had been placed on a six-year-old who had been told to attack Afghan army forces in the east of the country.

The boy was spotted after appearing confused at a checkpoint. The vest was defused and no one was hurt.

The claim came only hours after the second report this week that civilians had been killed in Nato military operations.

Nine women, three babies and the mullah of a local mosque died alongside 20 suspected Taliban militants after an air strike, Helmand's police chief, Mohammad Hussein Andiwal, said.

The air strike had been launched in response to an attack on Nato troops by militants near the town of Gereshk. An estimated 120 people have been killed in recent weeks, including seven schoolboys who died in a US air strike on Sunday.

Yesterday ISAF said it was investigating reports from the Afghan authorities that civilians had been killed. But it also accused the Taliban of using civilians as battleground cover, and said the incident with the boy signalled a new type of tactic. The boy had been ordered to target a check point in Miri, in the Andar district of Ghazni province.

"They placed explosives on a six-year-old boy and told him to walk up to the Afghan police or army and push the button," said Captain Michael Cormier, the company commander who intercepted the child, in a statement. "Fortunately, the boy did not understand and asked patrolling officers why he had this vest on."

Lieutenant Colonel David Accetta, ISAF eastern regional command spokesman, told the Guardian: "In the past we have not seen the Taliban sink that low, to use children as suicide bombers. The personnel secured the vest to make sure the child was safe."

...
The Taliban continues to mine new depths of depravity. This is on the same day that the Taliban is reported to ambushed school girls killing at least two. The Taliban told the Telegraph that it would be increasing its human bomb attacks on Kabal in the coming days. It appears to be running out of humanity at this point.

It is good to see that the Guardian is finally focusing on the Taliban's use of human shields as the cause for the civilian deaths.

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