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68 Freed From Pakistan Madrasa

Chained students were being 'trained for jihad'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2011 3:46 AM CST
68 Freed From Pakistan Madrasa
A Pakistani child weeps after being rescued by police during a raid at an Islamic seminary on the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan yesterday.   (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

(Newser) – Police in Pakistan say they rescued dozens of students from an Islamic seminary where they were being brainwashed by extremists. Some of the 68 students found at the Karachi madrasa were found chained in a basement, the Los Angeles Times reports. Police say the students were denied food and pressured to join the Taliban. Two staff members were arrested but the madrasa's leader escaped.

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"They gave us jihad training," one of the students told reporters. "They warned us if we ever tried to escape, we would be severely punished." Police say some of the students were drug addicts sent there by relatives unaware of conditions at the madrasa. "These young people were chained," Pakistan's interior minister said. "They were brainwashed. The aggression these people felt toward society, other people, you can't expect them to feel particularly positive." (Read more Pakistan stories.)

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