A disturbing new video has emerged of young boys play-acting the last moments of a suicide bomber's life. The 84-second video features a group of Afghan or Pakistani Pashtun children; one, dressed with a black scarf over his face, hugs each boy, then walks toward a boy dressed in white, who the New York Times reports seems to represent an official. The "official" holds up his hand to indicate stop, but the suicide bomber continues. The boy in white falls backward and the bomber kicks up an "explosion" of dust, as other boys fall to the ground.
The Times notes that it's unclear whether this was just role-playing or intended to be Taliban propaganda; in the background, a favorite Taliban song plays. (Sample lyric: "My beloved is going to fight, so he has long hair / He carries his machine gun on his shoulder, which looks so fine on him.") Insurgents did not have a hand in making the video, says a Taliban spokesman, but they approve of it nonetheless: "The positive aspect of the video is that it motivates the children for jihadi ideas. It gives them courage for this kind of work, but children should not do this kind work at this age. But they should have an idea about jihad in their mind, and they should prepare themselves for sacrifice."