The devout Muslims are not waiting for heaven. They want their "scattered pearls" now.
It was a routine check. Two vans, both without license plates, were stopped earlier this month by police in Afghanistan's eastern Ghazni province, where Taliban hold sway in large swaths of the countryside.
Inside, police found 27 boys between the ages of 4 and 15, all being taken illegally to Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province to study in seminaries called madrassas, according to a police report acquired by The Associated Press.
An Afghan counterterrorism official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because revealing his identity could endanger him, said Afghan intelligence has identified 26 madrassas in Pakistan where it suspects future generations of Taliban are being trained and in some cases instructed in carrying out suicide bombings.