Islamic State kidnapped 500 children to be used as fighters and potentially suicide bombers, Iraqi officials said. The kidnappings occurred in the Anbar and Diyala provinces over the course a week.
"[The Islamic State] has kidnapped at least 400 children in the western province of Anbar, and taken them to their bases in Iraq, and Syria," said Farhan Mohammed, a member of Anbar’s Provincial Council.
Diyala Province Police Chief Lieutenant General Kasim Al-Saidi said, "[The Islamic State] has recruited about 100 children under the age of 16. They are going to brainwash these kids into being suicide bombers."
Saidi said that the children would be given military training and possibly taken to Syria or other regions controlled by the group.
Less than two months ago, Rehab al-Abouda, head of the Iraqi Parliament’s Committee for Women, Family and Childhood, said that the terror group was using hundreds of kidnapped boys to fight against Iraqi forces.