Mandy Clark is a CBS News Digital Journalist based in Afghanistan. In this blog, she previews her story for the CBS Evening News.
Nine young boys were tricked into delivering a bomb for the Taliban. It is the story of Eidullah and his friends. I came across the story on a military base in Khost, Eastern Afghanistan when a few of the boys had come for a check up. Military doctors saved their lives.
The boys were asked to deliver a fruit basket to a local commander working with U.S. forces. What they didn't know was hidden in the basket was a bomb. It exploded early and injuring the boys. Two lost legs, one went blind, all their lives changed in a flash.
Using children is new terror tactic that is growing in Afghanistan. Doctors at the combat hospital say they are seeing child bombers more frequently.
Eidullah was one of the boys who lost his leg. When I met him, his face was etched with worry. He used to run his father's shop in his village. His father is blind and as the oldest son it's up to him to take care of his mother and 6 siblings. He doubts he can. It is hard to believe such responsibility for an 11-year-old.
Nine year old Mohammad's father begged doctors not to amputate his leg, but the blast took out his sciatic nerve. His right leg is now dead. He has no feeling and no control over it. It will need to be removed in the future but the doctors respected the father's wishes.
Even when it is amputated, it's unlikely Eidullah or Mohammad will ever get a prosthetic leg, they are simply too poor to afford it. They will join the 50 thousand other Afghan civilians amputated by 30 years of continuous war.
Despite the agony from their injuries, not one of the boys complained. They were near stoic with their new reality given to them by a terrorist.
The bombing that changed the lives of these boys happened on September 11th. A terrible reminder of how it always seems to be their lives of the innocence that are torn apart by terrorism and war.