Afghan police intercept suspected suicide bomb children

Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai pardons a would-be child suicide bomber on August 30, 2011.

Story highlights

  • Four suspected insurgents were trying to smuggle 41 children abroad, officials say
  • Police suspect the 41 children were going for suicide-bomber training
  • They have been returned to their families, the Interior Ministry says
  • It's not the first time police have caught children trying to be suicide bombers

Afghan police have intercepted 41 children whom insurgents were planning to use as suicide bombers, an Interior Ministry spokesman said Tuesday.

Four suspected insurgents were about to smuggle the children across the mountains into Pakistan from eastern Kunar province on Friday, said Sediq Seddiqi, the spokesman.

"We strongly believe that the children were being taken to Pakistan to be trained, brainwashed and sent back as Afghan enemies," Seddiqi said.

The children are aged between 6 and 11, he said.

Police handed the children back to their families after they were rescued in the Watapur district of Kunar province, he said.

"The insurgents cheat poor and ordinary Afghans and take away their children," Seddiqi said.

Afghan and foreign forces have arrested many would-be suicide bomber children in the past.

Earlier this month Afghan forces rearrested two children in Kandahar province on suspicion of planning to be suicide bombers.

The two were from a group of would-be suicide bombers who were pardoned by President Hamid Karzai last summer, according to a press statement from the Kandahar governor's office.

They had gone to Quetta, Pakistan, to get more training before being sent back to Afghanistan for suicide attacks, the statement said.

      CNN recommends

    • pkg clancy north korea nuclear dreams_00002004.jpg

      North Korea nuclear dream video

      As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
    • Photos: Faces of the world

      Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
    • pkg rivers uk football match fixing_00005026.jpg

      How to fix a soccer match

      Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
    • No Eiffel Towers, Statues of Liberties, Mt. Rushmores, Taj Mahals, Aussie koalas or Chairman Maos.

      15 biggest souvenir-buying no-no's

      It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.