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Playing dead: The 'horrifying' suicide bomber schoolyard game
A video shows Pashtun children lightheartedly acting out a terrorism attack. Are they becoming too inured to violence, or is this harmless mimicry?
A young Pashtun boy shows his fake explosive vest to a "guard" before their suicide bomb game culminates in a dusty blast.
A young Pashtun boy shows his fake explosive vest to a "guard" before their suicide bomb game culminates in a dusty blast.
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T

he video: A short video showing Pashtun children play-acting a suicide bombing has inspired debate about children's exposure to violence in the war-ravaged region. In the 84-second clip, which reportedly originated in Pakistan or Afghanistan and has since circulated on Facebook, a black-garbed boy delivers farewells to a row of his peers — some of whom struggle not to laugh. He then runs past a pretend guard toward two boys who throw dirt in the air to simulate an explosion. After the dusty blast, the victims and the faux bomber lie still on the ground as other boys inspect their bodies. (Watch it below.)
The reaction: The footage is "horrifying and alarming," says Salma Jafar of Save the Children UK in Pakistan, as quoted by The Guardian. "These children have become fascinated by bombers rather than condemning them," and "if they glamorise violence now, they can become part of it later in life." But Fasi Zaka, a Pakistani media commentator quoted by The Telegraph, calls the video disturbing but also "sophisticated" and "creative," and says the children are merely reproducing "what they see in their lives around them." View the childrens' make-believe bombing:

 

 

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