International outrage is building over a Taliban video in which a preteen boy appears to behead a prisoner. The Guardian reports that the boy, who "appears no older than 12," denounces the man, a Pakistani militant, as an "American spy" in a high-pitched voice before apparently using a long knife to execute him.
The video has aired on Afghan and Pakistani TV. The use of children under 15 in conflict is a war crime under international law. "This is truly shocking, without cultural context or historical precedent," said Sam Zarifi of Human Rights Watch. The Taliban frequently executes suspected collaborators, but has never been known to involve children.