(dpa) - Arab news broadcaster al-Arabiya aired Wednesday a videotape purported to have been produced by the al-Qaeda terrorist network showing Iraqi children in the province of Diyala carrying out mock acts of abduction and robbery.
Children wearing black outfits, who the Dubai-based channel said were Iraqis between the ages of 10 and 12, are shown in one shot brandishing rifles and stopping a man on a bicycle.
In another scene on the videotape, which was allegedly shot in the village of Khan Bani Saad near Muqdadiyah in Diyala, the children are shown stopping a car and carrying out an act of kidnapping while yelling at the passengers.
The channel said the weapons and rockets used in the training were real.
Diyala, east of Baghdad, is a hotbed of Sunni extremist insurgency and a sanctuary for groups with links to al-Qaeda, such as the Islamic State of Iraq.
The province has been the scene of a big military operation carried out jointly by Iraqi and US troops to uproot insurgents, which has so far yielded limited results.