Another depraved act of desperation on the part of jihadists.
Militants linked to al-Qa’eda have set up training camps in Pakistan to teach children how to conduct suicide attacks.
The Pakistani army claimed today to have overrun one such camp in territory where the notorious Pakistani Taliban commander, Baitullah Mehsud, operates.
Militants had transformed a government-run school near the village of Spinkai in South Waziristan into what one officer described as a “nursery for preparing suicide bombers”.
The school was part of a large compound above the village that included a small mosque.
Maj Gen Tariq Khan, the commander of the division that captured the area, said: “It was like factory that had been recruiting nine to 12-year-old boys and turning them into suicide bombers.”
He told the Dawn newspaper that at another location military investigators found film footage on a DVD that they believed depicts children at the school being taught suicide training.
The footage, which was shown to journalists, contained images of a masked teacher instructing rows of schoolchildren who wore white headbands inscribed with Quranic verses.
The teacher pointed at the blackboard while an armed guard stood alongside and discussed what to carry in a suicide attack.
Maj Gen Athar Abbas, the army’s chief spokesman, said that the school and a hospital had been taken over by militants “to prepare children for suicide attacks and for making IEDS [improvised explosive devices]”.
The general said that during operations in the area soldiers had rounded up over 50 boys who were undergoing suicide attack training.
He said that many of the boys had been kidnapped. Most of them were from the ethnic Pushtun belt of the North West Frontier Province and that some were locals from South Waziristan.
So the terrorists have resorted to outright kidnapping of CHILDREN to swell their numbers. While this is absolutely deplorable, it does reveal the growing desperation they face, and a likely shortage of people willing to blow themselves up.
Read more about this latest barbaric atrocity in the Telegraph.