This is a heartbreaking story. Young kids working in unsafe conditions, sometimes dying making bombs for Sunni insurgents in Iraq. They do so, because otherwise they, and their families would starve to death. Often they and their families are threatend with death by the supervising insurgents. Here's the killer: even though they'd rather be in a classroom, and their families recognize the tragedy of it all... their very families blame the U.S. troops and occupation. Fact is, that we unleashed evil in that country. Saddam was a monster, but it was up to them to deal with him and fight for their form of government themselves. Just as we did, when we fought the British for independence... we didn't have some foreign army come and occupy us in the guise of freeing us from the Brits. Let this lesson sink in forever: you never, ever should interfere in another countries internal affairs, it is illegal to invade to affect regime change, and let societies evolve on their own. The only time you may use military power, is for self defence or defence of another invaded country. http://www.iraqslogger.com/index.php/post/2719/Insurgents_Teach_Kids_to_Make_Bombs "BAGHDAD, 10 May 2007 (IRIN) - Eleven-year-old Seif Abdul-Rafiz and his two brothers were left with no choice but to leave school and work so as to help their unemployed parents make ends meet. Unable to find a job, Seif resorted to making bombs for Sunni insurgents who are fighting US troops in Iraq. We work about eight hours a day and are supervised by two men. They give us food and at the end of the day we get paid for our work. Sometimes we get US $7 and sometimes we get $10, depending on how many bombs we make, Abdul-Rafiz said. The bombs are used to fight American soldiers. I was really afraid in the beginning but then my parents told me that it was for two good causes: the first is to help our family eat; and the second is to fight occupation forces, he added. Thousands of poor children in Iraq are forced to work to help their families. Many of them work in one way or another for a variety of armed groups that operate in the war-torn country. If I had choice, I would have preferred to be in a classroom but we need to eat. In the beginning, they were very kind with us but later they started to threaten us, saying that if we leave our work they would kill our family, Abdul-Rafiz said. According to NGO the Iraq Aid Association (IAA), reports from Anbar province and two mainly Sunni neighbourhoods of the capital show that children from poor families are helping insurgents make bombs. They are in direct contact with dangerous chemicals which when wrongly handled can result in their death. We have secure information that at least three children have died making bombs, Fatah Ahmed, IAA spokesman, said. But Abdul-Rafiz said that hunger was worse than anything. My mother cries every day we go out to make bombs but my dad prays for us and tells us to go because he cannot find a job. And the insurgents dont let him work with them because he was injured in an attack a year ago and they consider him useless, he said. No choice Insurgents say children work faster, are cheaper to hire than adults and attract less attention from security forces. They need to work and we have jobs. We dont force them to come but if they come, they should work hard. If they do their job well, they wont suffer any harm, said Abu Katib, who says he teaches more than 40 children in Baghdad how to make bombs. Were near them all the time. They work in safe conditions and rarely get burned by the chemicals they work with. If that does happen, we have nurses and a doctor for them, he added. "The families are aware of what their children are doing so we cannot be blamed for something that even the childrens parents agree to." Abu Katib said that by giving poor children jobs, they would at least be helping their families to eat. The families are aware of what their children are doing so we cannot be blamed for something that even the childrens parents agree to, the bomb-making instructor said. Keeping Children Alive (KCA) president Ali Mussaw has called on the government and international organisations to intervene to save the lives of hundreds of children countrywide who work as bomb-makers and risk serious injury or death when handling dangerous chemicals. Someone should be able to help them. Its disastrous. Their rights arent being recognised but the solution should be aimed at the roots of the problem, Mussawi said. Militia threat They came to our house asking for our two boys to work with them. We refused in the beginning but later we had to accept because they threatened to take away our two daughters if we disagreed, said Bariah Hassan, 42, a mother of five from the Sadr City neighbourhood. More on Iraqi children They know we dont have money and my husband was killed months ago. I was forced to accept and each morning my children leave home to help them, she added. Bariah told IRIN that her children get US $3 per day of work. The job varies. Sometimes they clean guns; sometimes they carry explosives from one place to another while avoiding the police; and sometimes they cook for the militants, she said. I was scared in the beginning but now with my two boys working with them I have at least US $5 a day to buy food and can feed my daughters. I know that it is dangerous but unfortunately it is what the US troops have brought to us, Bariah added."