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Chained and in tears: Children found in basement as police raid Islamic school thought to be a ‘Taliban training centre’
- 45 captives tell of visiting Taliban militants who told them: ‘Prepare for battle’
- One cleric and two others arrested, but school head flees during raid
By DAMIEN GAYLE
Last updated at 4:36 PM on 13th December 2011
Forty-five students, among them young children, were discovered held in chains in a basement when police raided an Islamic seminary in Pakistan last night.
The male students, some said to be as young as 12 but appearing even younger, were found in what amounted to a dungeon at the Madrassa Zakarya in the Sohrab Goth district of Karachi.
Led barefoot from their prison, captives told officers they had suffered regular beatings and been hung upside down as a form of punishment.
Freed: Young Pakistani students sit a room after being rescued following a police raid on Madrassa Zakarya in Karachi last night
A young student cries after being rescued. Pakistani police found 45 students found chained in the basement during the raid
A young student carries his belongings as he leaves the madrassa after the raid last night
Others said they had been visited by Taliban fighters and that 10 of their fellow students had disappeared in recent months.