Somali army says 33 children freed from Al-Shabaab indoctrination

MOGADISHU — Somali forces have completed an operation against a school run by al-Shabaab, rescuing 32 children who had been taken as recruits by the militant group.

The operation was conducted in Kurtunwarey town of Lower Shabelle region, according to statement released by the country’s army.

We freed 33 children. It is unfortunate that terrorists are recruiting children to their twisted ideology,” the army said.

In mid 2017, Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused Al-Shabaab of ordering elders and teachers in rural parts of the southern Bay region to provide them with children – as young as eight – or face reprisals.

The rights group revealed that Al Shabaab had recruited thousands of children for indoctrination and to become frontline fighters over the past decade, and its religious schools are pressured to teach al Shabaab’s curriculum.