child soldier

15 Stories

Boko Haram Used 44 Kids as Suicide Bombers Last Year

They're brainwashed, sexually abused, and threatened

(Newser) - Boko Haram, the Islamist extremist group terrorizing Nigeria and surrounding countries, is drastically increasing its use of children as suicide bombers, according to a UNICEF report released Tuesday. The Los Angeles Times reports Boko Haram used four children as suicide bombers in 2014. Last year, they used 44—33 of... More »

Taliban's Latest Victim: 10-Year-Old Militia Hero

Wasil Ahmad shot twice outside his home in Afghanistan

(Newser) - In his 10 short years, Wasil Ahmad was named a hero by the Afghan government for leading the fight against a Taliban siege. When the siege was over, the government dressed him in a police uniform, hung plastic flowers around his neck, and handed him a helmet and gun. "... More »

ISIS Claims Video Shows Child Soldier Killing Spies

'Lion cub' seen executing alleged Russian agents

(Newser) - Fresh horror from ISIS: The militant group's latest video depicts what it says is a child soldier executing two Russian spies. The video shows the men confessing to spying on ISIS for Russian intelligence services before cutting to a scene showing a boy who appears to be around 10... More »

Congo Warlord Gets 14 Years for Using Child Soldiers

ICC hands down first-ever sentence

(Newser) - Congo warlord Thomas Lubanga has been sentenced to 14 years in prison, which is longer than many of the child soldiers in his rebel army had been alive when he commanded them in the country's civil war. The sentence was handed down by the International Criminal Court, which found... More »

Congo Warlord First to Be Convicted by World Court

Lubanga guilty of recruiting child soldiers

(Newser) - The world's first permanent war crimes tribunal has recorded its first verdict, finding Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty of recruiting child soldiers as young as 11 and sending them into battle. The International Criminal Court will sentence Lubanga, who led a militia during an ethnic conflict in the Democratic... More »

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

Third-place had to settle for grenades

(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... More »

14-Year-Old Suicide Bomber Captured After Vest Fails

Meanwhile another young teen blows up bus stop

(Newser) - Pakistani authorities have captured a 14-year-old who tried to blow himself up during a devastating attack on a Sufi shrine yesterday. Suicide bombers struck a pair of shrines in central Pakistan yesterday, killing 42 and wounding 100 of the thousands of people gathered for an annual festival near the city... More »

Afghanistan to Stop Using Kids as Soldiers, Sex Slaves

Will sign UN pledge to end unsavory practice

(Newser) - Afghanistan will sign a formal agreement at the UN tomorrow promising to stop using young boys as police or military sex slaves, the New York Times reports. Hamid Karzai ordered the deal after Afghanistan was placed on a UN blacklist for “grave violations against children in armed combat.... More »

Canadian at Gitmo Pleads Guilty to All Charges

Omar Khadr works out military plea deal

(Newser) - A Canadian prisoner at Guantanamo accused of killing an American soldier has pleaded guilty to all charges. Omar Khadr—who had been facing a possible life sentence—pleaded to five charges including murder in a plea agreement with military authorities. The terms of the plea deal have not yet been... More »

Taliban Using Child Soldiers

Some are probably coerced; others likely bribed

(Newser) - The Taliban is using child soldiers as young as three years old in Afghanistan, US Marines tell USA Today . “We've seen children actually dropping mortar rounds in the (firing) tubes against us,” says one. “I've never seen a culture that cares so little for human life.”... More »

US-Funded Somalia Using Child Soldiers

American taxpayer money arming kids as young as 9

(Newser) - As US-backed government forces in Somalia fight Insurgent groups linked to al-Qaeda, children are doing battle with children. While it is well known that most rebel troops are children, a New York Times expose reveals that the Somali army—whose soldiers are paid in part by the US government and... More »

UN Fights to Release Child Soldiers in Chad

Boys as young as 13 held captive by African nation's army

(Newser) - The UN has obtained access to 80 child soldiers, some as young as 13, who have been taken prisoner in Chad near the Sudanese region of Darfur. UNICEF says that the children were captured and paraded before television cameras after a battle in early May between the Chadian army and... More »

Int'l Criminal Court Opens With Congo Trial

In first case, warlord pleads not guilty to using child soldiers

(Newser) - The International Criminal Court in The Hague began its first trial today, as a Congolese militia leader pleaded not guilty to charges of using child soldiers. The court's prosecutor accused Thomas Lubanga of using hundreds of boys as young as nine "to kill, pillage, and rape" in the Democratic... More »

Iraqi Insurgents Enlist Kids for Dirty Work

US detention center adds school for captured child fighters

(Newser) - Iraqi children are playing an amplified role in insurgent attacks, and the US is struggling to cope with the consequences. The ranks of minors detained by American forces have grown from 100 to 800 since March, the LA Times reports. Boys as young as 11 set off roadside bombs for... More »

Sierra Leone Tribunal Convicts 3

War crimes court first to rule against use of child soldiers

(Newser) - The UN-backed Sierra Leone war crimes tribunal handed down its first verdicts today, convicting three leaders of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The rebel leaders face lengthy prison terms after being convicted of 11 of 14 charges, including murder, rape, and the recruitment... More »

15 Stories