Taliban kidnapping their 'martyrs'
This is a story that demonstrates both the desperation and the depravity of the Taliban religious bigots. Armies that rely on child soldiers are near defeat and relying on kidnapped soldiers is also a good sign of the desperation of the Taliban. This is a story that deserves wide circulation. Combining child abuse with religious flim flammery is inexcusable. Unfortunately, most of the media is too fearful of showing intolerance to religious bigots.
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.
Looking drained in his smudged clothes and dirty sandals, he gave a glimpse into the short life that awaits boys who are taken by the Taleban.
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.