Saturday, June 30, 2007

Taliban Sends 6-year-old on Suicide Mission

Six-year-old Juma lives in Afghan, where he is a child from an impoverished family. He is being raised by his older sister, while his parents are off working in other places. The little boy often collects scrap metal to help support his family.
Recently, little Juma shared a disturbing story. He was outside one day, when he was approached by Taliban militants. They put a vest on him, and told him that when he pushed a button on the vest, it would spray out flowers. The militants instructed Juma to look for Afghan or American soldiers, and when he saw them, to push the button and throw his body at them.
Juma was afraid of the soldiers... so afraid, he forgot what he was supposed to do with the vest! So he found some Afghan soldiers and told them that he had forgotten what he was supposed to do. When the soldiers asked what he was talking about, the boy showed them the vest he was wearing underneath his shirt. It was filled with explosives.
Now, Juma is recieving a hero's welcome in his country! Recently, Juma and his brother got to go to a meeting with Afghan leaders and US Army leaders, where Juma told his story and got lots of attention. Juma and his brother ate a big meal of lamb and rice, and were given money by the adults who were present.
Meanwhile, the Taliban insist that the story has been made up to give them a bad reputation. They say that they would never use a child, and that they have plenty of adults willing to go on suicide missions. But Afgan officials say that the Taliban have used children before. They had come across a video of Taliban militants instructing a 12-year-old to cut someone's head off. Children have also been used to help sneak car bombs into locations.
I'm glad that little Juma is okay! Hopefully this incident will help Afghan adults teach children to "just say no" to Taliban miltants, the way kids here are taught to "just say no" to strangers... and that if a Taliban militant gives a child anything or instructs them to do anything, the child should ask an Afghan adult for help right away.

1 comment:

jan said...

Very powerful blog with a lot of good information. My grandchildren are 6 and 8 and it is so sad when children are denied their childhood by terrorists and drug dealers and generally psychotic adults.