Al-Qaeda has over the past two years used 24 children to carry out suicide bombings in Iraq, the director of military operations for the Interior Ministry, Abdelaziz Mohammed Jasim, told pan-Arab daily al-Sharq al-Awsat.
“Of the 24 children, five had a mental disability. From analysing the others’ remains, we established that they were homeless,” said Jasim.
American soldiers stationed in Iraq have reported that the insurgency has armed children as young as 11 to fight against them.
Al-Qaeda is targeting orphans, street children and mentally disabled children as suicide bomber recruits as well as women, according to the Iraqi Interior Ministry.
There have been at least 16 suicide attacks carried out by women in recent months in the volatile Al-Qaeda stronghold of Diyala province, north of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
Iraqi children in general make up 20 percent of the civilian victims of bomb attacks in the country.
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