Kids Who Won Somali Radio Contest Awarded ... AK-47s

Third-place had to settle for grenades
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2011 1:52 PM CDT
A young fighter from the Al-Shabab militia shows the wound in his hand in this file photo.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – A Somali radio station run by al-Shabab held an, er, interesting trivia contest for kids this weekend. Kids aged 10-17 were quizzed on Islam and al-Shabab minutiae (example: “Which war was al-Shabab warrior Sheik Timajilic killed in?”), with the lucky winner and runner-up both walking away with a prize package including money, al-Shabab books, and, of course, AK-47 assault rifles, the New York Times reports. The third-place finisher had to settle for two live hand grenades.

The prizes were handed out at an awards ceremony in a town near Mogadishu, where Sheik Muktar Robow Abu Monsur—a moderate figure, as al-Shabab sheiks go—proclaimed that “Children should use one hand for education and the other for a gun to defend Islam.” Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda affiliate, controls much of Somalia, which has no central government, and hence some of the worst schooling rates on the planet. (Read more al-Shabab stories.)

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