Wednesday, Sep 21 2011 3PM 17°C 6PM 13°C 5-Day Forecast
And first prize kids is … an AK-47!
Somali Islamic radio’s offer to child winners of general knowledge quiz
- Third prize was £250 and two hand grenades
Children as young as 10 were given the chance to win AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifles as part of a Koran-reading and general knowledge quiz in Somalia, it has been revealed.
To celebrate the holy month of Ramadan the country’s al-Shabab Islamist group ran the competition and said the guns were offered so youths can use them ‘to defend Islam’.
Andulus radio, based near capital Mogadishu, gave groups of youngsters aged between 10 and 17 the chance to compete for deadly weapons and a £450 cash prize.
It is the third year the competition has been run in Somalia and previously the first prize was a rocket-propelled grenade launcher
The second prize-winners also received an AK-47 and £320, while the third prize was two hand grenades and £250.
It is the third year the competition has been run and previously the first prize was a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
‘Youths should use one hand for education and the other for a gun to defend Islam,’ al-Shabab representative Mukhtar Robow said at the prize-giving ceremony.
Violence: Large areas of Africa have child soldiers such as Liberia, above, and Sierra Leone, below.
Al-Shabab, which has strong links to Al Qaeda, controls much of southern and central Somalia, a country with many child soldiers and serious piracy problems.
A splinter group of al-Shabab is also behind the kidnapping of Judith Tebbutt and the murder of her 58-year-old husband David this month.
The couple were on a two-week holiday when they were attacked by three armed raiders in Kiwayu, 20 miles from the Kenyan border with Somalia, ten days ago.
Mrs Tebbutt is said to be alive and is being moved around Somalia by the militants.
Al-Shahab is also stopping aid from entering parts of Somalia they control even though the country is in the midst of severe drought and famine.