Bid to smuggle 25 children to Pakistan foiled by Afghan forces in Ghazni

The Afghan security forces have arrested a group of human smugglers who were attempting to smuggle several children to Pakistan.

The local security officials in southeastern Ghazni province said the smugglers were arrested during the operations on Sunday.

Acting provincial police chief of Ghazni Mustafa Mayar said the smugglers were arrested from Qarabagh and Ab Band districts as they were attempting to smuggle the children to Quetta city.

He said a total of 25 children were due to be smuggled to Quetta city for the trainings, apparently for the suicide attacks but the Afghan forces managed to thwart the attempts and a group of smugglers were arrested in connection to the smuggling attempt of the children.

This comes as the Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Taliban forces in Afghanistan have added scores of children to their ranks since mid-2015 in violation of the international prohibition on the use of child soldiers.

The rights group’s research shows that the Taliban have been training and deploying children for various military operations, including the production and planting of improvised explosive devices (IED).

In a report released earlier this year, HRW writes that in Kundoz province, the Taliban have increasingly used madrasas, or Islamic religious schools, to provide military training to children between the ages of 13 and 17, many of whom have been deployed in combat.

According to the report, Taliban have recruited and used children as fighters since the 1990s, but together with analysts who have monitored the recruitment drive, believe that recruitment increased since 2015 due to expanded Taliban operations against Afghan government forces. -KP

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