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8 May 07, 12:12 PM - Taliban recruiting disabled suicide bombers?

Posted by Vaughan

In the continuing coverage of the War Against Terror in both Iraq and Afghanistan, it's the former that seems to grab most of the headlines. Information about activities in Afghanistan, and in particular the ongoing battle against Taliban insurgents, seems harder to come by. Yet a shocking news story that involves disabled Afghans is beginning to emerge. According to a truly shocking report from globeandmail.com in Canada, the Taliban are increasingly recruiting disabled people as suicide bombers.

The bodies of suicide bombers who strike in the Afghan capital, Kabul, are taken to a morgue where the senior doctor has noted the presence of people with impairments such as muscular dystrophy, amputations, blindness, skin conditions and signs of mental health problems. It seems that in the disrupted and fractured society of Afghanistan, the Taliban insurgents seek out disabled people because they are on the margins of the country's society. Being disabled, possibly ending up living on the streets and with an inability to support one's family are equated with great shame. The Taliban offer money to the families of suicide bombers, and if these disabled men have not been able to earn very much - as is usually the case - the option of helping one's family financially whilst also seemingly dying for a noble cause can appear an attractive one.

An important report to read about a hitherto little known but very disturbing aspect of the continuing conflict in Afghanistan.

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Comment

At 02:24 PM on 08 May 2007, pete richardson wrote:

Hi Vaughan,
Following on from your Taliban story, there is a video on the web that shows a disabled (arabian?) man in a wheelchair being beheaded.

It's gross.

pete

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