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Taliban attack uses child suicide bomber

Associated Press / May 2, 2011

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KABUL — On the first day of its promised spring offensive, the Taliban used a 12-year-old boy as a suicide bomber in an attack yesterday that killed four civilians, President Hamid Karzai said, calling the child’s recruitment inhumane and un-Islamic.

It was one of several attacks across the country that killed seven people, officials said.

The insurgent movement announced Saturday that it would step up operations against military bases, convoys, and Afghan officials, including members of the peace council working to reconcile with insurgent leaders.

“The use of children and youths who don’t know the difference between right and wrong in terrorist attacks is inhumane and against all Islamic principles,’’ the president said.

The suicide bomber detonated a vest packed with explosives inside a bazaar in the Barmal district of Paktika Province. The blast killed four civilians and wounded 12, said Mokhlis Afghan, a spokesman for the provincial governor’s office.

Among the dead — and the likely target — was Sher Nawaz, head of a new district council in Paktika Province, Afghan said.

According to documents from the Joint Intelligence Group at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Taliban systematically recruits and trains juveniles to be suicide bombers.

In other violence yesterday, a gunman opened fire on a checkpoint in the southwest province of Ghazni, killing two police officers, said the provincial police chief.

In the south, an Afghan soldier was killed at a checkpoint in Kandahar, said deputy police chief Shershah Yousafzai.

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