Dangerous Developments: Jihadis Luring School children in Dir (NWFP)

Jihadis luring schoolchildren: Parents enroll children outside Dir
By Zahid Jan: Daily Times, June 3, 2007

DIR: Some parents have started enrolling their children in schools outside Dir district to keep them away from people who are “luring” their kids towards jihad, sources told Daily Times on Saturday.

“A man whose son was taken away from school and later found with a jihadi organisation has enrolled his kid in a school in another district,” the source close to the parent, asking not to be named for fear of reprisal, told Daily Times.

The father was quoted as saying that he was taking his son hundreds of miles away from the influence of jihadi organisations. Hashim Hussain, opposition leader in the Dir District Assembly, took up the issue on the floor of the house a few days ago, demanding the district administration stop jihadi organisations from ruining the children’s future.

“I asked the assembly members if participation in jihad at such an early age guarantees a place in paradise ... no one responded to my question,” he said. Ten schoolchildren have been reported “missing” from a school in the district and local policemen said they have started an investigation into the incidents. Hussain said the children were not given military training for jihad. The children are only given a suicide jacket to blow themselves up in public places, he said.

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