Juma said that sometime last month Taliban fighters forced him to wear a vest they said would spray out flowers when he touched a button. He said they told him that when he saw American soldiers, “throw your body at them.”
The militants cornered Juma in a Taliban-controlled district in southern Afghanistan’s Ghazni province. Their target was an impoverished youngster being raised by an older sister — but also one who proved too street-smart for their plan.
“When they first put the vest on my body I didn’t know what to think, but then I felt the bomb,” Juma told The Associated Press as he ate lamb and rice after being introduced to the elders at this joint U.S.-Afghan base in Ghazni. “After I figured out it was a bomb, I went to the Afghan soldiers for help.”…
As [the head of the village] told Juma’s story, 20 Afghan elders repeatedly clicked their tongues in sadness and disapproval. When the boy and his brother were brought in, several of the turban-wearing men welled up, wiping their eyes with handkerchiefs…
Haji Niaz Mohammad, one of the elders at the gathering, said he hoped “God makes the Afghan government strong” so it can defeat the Taliban.
“They are the enemy of Muslims and the enemy of the children,” he said, shaking his fists in anger.
If you haven’t seen them before and have a strong stomach, Rusty Shackleford has stills from the video of the 12-year-old Talib beheading an accused American spy.