Six teenage boys who said they were being trained as suicide bombers were detained Monday in the northern city of Mosul, Iraqi officials said..
Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf told The Associated Press that the boys were between the ages of 14 and 16 and initial investigations show they were being trained by a Saudi militant who was killed in military operations.
The soldiers were acting on tips when they found the boys in the basement of an abandoned house that was being used by insurgent groups in the Sumar area in southeastern Mosul, deputy Interior
Minister Kamal Ali Hussein said later at a press conference.
He said the boys had been recruited over the last month to carry out suicide bombings against Iraqi security forces in Mosul, although the specific targets had not been revealed to them.
The insurgents had threatened to kill the boys or their families if they refused to obey, Kamal said, adding that the group included the son of a female physician, the son of a college professor and four who belonged to families of poor vendors.
"They were trained how to carry out suicide attacks with explosive belts and a date was fixed for each one of them," he said.
The U.S. military in northern Iraq said American forces were not involved and had no information about the arrests.
U.S. and Iraqi military commanders claim that al-Qaida in Iraq is increasingly trying to use women and children in attacks to avoid stepped-up security measures. There has been a series of recent suicide
bombings by women
The above photo (AP/Emad Matti) shows four of the six teenage boys who had been recruited as suicide bombers standing next to a police official in Mosul.