Friday, August 7, 2009

Iraqi Boy Kidnapped, Tortured for Two Years Before Rescue

An incredible story of both cruelty and courage from Iraq: the 8-year-old child of an Iraqi policeman describes his two years of captivity at the hands of Al Qaeda terrorists who tried to pressure his father into freeing captured insurgents. Via CNN:
FALLUJA, Iraq (CNN) -- Like many young boys, Khidir loves playing with toy cars and wants to be a policeman like his father when he grows up. But it was his father's very job that caused the tiny child to suffer the unimaginable.

Khidir was just 6 years old when he was savagely ripped away from his family, kidnapped by al Qaeda operatives in Iraq.

"They beat me with a shovel, they pulled my teeth out with pliers, they would go like this and pull it," said Khidir, now 8, demonstrating with his hands. "And they would make me work on the farm gathering carrots."

What followed was even more horrific, an ordeal that would last for two years in captivity. Khidir and his father spoke to CNN recently, more than half a year after his rescue by Iraqi police.

"This is where they hammered a nail into my leg and then they pulled it out," he says, lifting up his pant leg to show a tiny wound.

He says his captors also pulled out each of his tiny fingernails, broke both his arms, and beat him repeatedly on the side of the head with a shovel. He still suffers chronic headaches. He remembers them laughing as they inflicted the pain.

"I would think about my mommy and daddy," he replies, when asked how he managed to get through the agony.

Khadir's father, Abdul, was contacted by the kidnappers, who threatened to slit Khadir's throat if he did not release captured Al Qaeda prisoners in police custody. He refused, and assumed the worst, thinking his son had been murdered.

But a tip earlier this year led to the rescue of Khadir and other children held hostage by Al Qaeda. Thank God for this miraculous intervention that freed Khadir and the other children from their suffering and restored them to the families who had believed they were dead.

Please continue to pray for all the hostages in Iraq and the other war-torn parts of the world, especially those hostages known only to God.

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