Three Taliban fighters and two 12 year old would-be suicide attackers along with their weapons are presented to media representatives in Kandahar.
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Two boys equipped with suicide vests were
arrested here over the weekend, less than a year after one of them had
been pardoned by President Hamid Karzai for the same crime. Both were
presented to reporters Sunday.
The boys, named Nasibullah and Azizullah, were described by officials
from the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan's intelligence
agency, as 12-year-olds who had been trained in Pakistani madrassas. The
officials refused to give their names for security reasons.
Both boys appeared calm and outspoken at the news conference, and it
was unclear if they understood the gravity of what it would mean to
carry out suicide bombings.
Azizullah said he went to a madrassa in Quetta. The teachers told
him, "'You won't be hurt; just go and carry out a suicide attack,' " he
There have been a number of children caught in the past two years
with the intention of carrying out suicide attacks. Most have attended
madrassa across the border in Pakistan and told to detonate the
explosives near foreign soldiers or Afghan government security forces.
The indoctrination is intense, with heavy pressure at the schools to
engage in a holy war against the foreigners, said the intelligence
officials in Kandahar.
Azizullah said that from the school, he was ferried across the border. He was arrested with a suicide vest in Kandahar, he said.
"Now I am requesting the government to forgive me and let me join my
family. I won't go back to the madrassa," said Azizullah, who is from
Gardez in Paktia province.
The other boy, Nasibullah, already has been forgiven once. He said he
was pardoned by Karzai during Ramadan last summer, but then returned to
a madrassa in Pakistan where he was persuaded for a second time to
carry out a suicide bombing.
Karzai follows the tradition of pardoning criminals during Ramadan,
the Muslim holy month, and in 2011 he pardoned a dozen children who had
been arrested either for planning or attempting suicide attacks. The
children were mostly under the age of 12 and one was only 8, according
to Afghan and foreign news reports.
“The last time I was arrested by officials, I was sent to Kabul and I
was brought before President Karzai,” Nasibullah said at Sunday’s news
conference. “Mr. Karzai asked me what had happened. I explained that the Taliban
wanted me to carry out a suicide attack and they put a vest on me and
said ‘you can carry out a suicide attack,’ but I was arrested by
policemen. Karzai told me, ‘Don’t worry son, we will send you back
home,’ and so he pardoned me.”
Nasibullah, who officials from the intelligence directorate said was
originally from Pishin in the Baluchistan region of Pakistan, said he
was hoping for a second reprieve. “I am again arrested by officials and
now again I am requesting from the government to forgive me,” he said.
“This time I won’t go back to the madrasa.” New York Times:
In: World News, Afghanistan
Tags: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Taliban, Kandahar, Suicide Bombers, Hamid Karzai, National Directorate of Security
Location: Kandahar, Kandahar, Afghanistan (load item map)
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