ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, July 29 (UPI) -- Pakistani boys, some as young as 9 rescued from a Taliban camp, were being indoctrinated to become suicide bombers, the Pakistani military said.
The military says its forces rescued 20 such boys from the Charbagh camp in the Swat Valley, The Independent reported Wednesday.
Swat Valley in the northwest was among places the military was involved in its 3-month-long campaign against the Taliban.
The British newspaper reported the boys disclosed details about their induction and training to become part of the Taliban's army of jihad inside Pakistan. They said more than 1,000 children may be undergoing training in the camp, which usually lasts about a month.
The boys' rescue points to the organizational power of the Taliban in poor communities, the newspaper said.
Some of the boys were handed over to the security forces by their worried parents, while others were rescued during the forces' "search and sweep" activities, the military said.
"When we interrogated the boys, they said that they had been taken hostage by the Taliban by force, or in some cases they were taken to the training camps by their friends," Maj. Nasir Khan, a military spokesman, was quoted as saying.
"They were heavily indoctrinated. When I asked them about what they were told, they said: 'The Pakistan army is the ally of the Western capitalist world, they are the enemies of Islam. The fight against them is justified, they are apostates, the friends of the infidels.'"