Kabul: Juma Gul is all of six years old. Like so many children in war-shattered Afghanistan, he collects scrap metal for a living near his home in Andar district of Ghazni province.
Juma nearly ended up becoming a Taliban human bomb, but for sheer luck. Or you can call it presence of mind. The little kid somehow got away from the clutches of the militia when so many other Afghan lives have been lost to suicide bombs and lived to tell the world how the Taliban tried to trick him into becoming a human bomb
Juma's shocking story is just one example of how the Taliban use young Afghan kids in its shadow war and turn them into suicide bombers.
"They told me to press the button and the flowers will be thrown all over. Enter the district office, when you see a lot of Americans, throw yourself on them, they said. The bomb was placed in a vest and it was wrapped around my body and the control wire was attached to my hand," narrates little Juma,
But Juma went to his family, who contacted the police. The Taliban dismissed his story as propaganda. But Afghan tribal elders and US soldiers have no doubts about the boy's story.
"We want to publicise this as much as we can to the Afghan people so that they can protect their children from these killers who are willing to use children, exploit them and try to use them to bomb us," says Maj John Thomas of the US Army.