(AFP) – The rescue, this summer, of dozens of Afghan youths destined to be trained as Taliban fighters has spotlighted how entrenched poverty is fuelling a renewable supply of child soldiers to endlessly replenish the insurgents’ ranks. Afghan forces freed almost 40 children during multiple raids near the Pakistani border. Officials said traffickers working with the Taliban had recruited the boys, some as young as four, from poor families by promising to provide them with a religious education. In reality they were set to be indoctrinated by hardline mullahs in Pakistan and receive military training to carry out attacks inside war-torn Afghanistan, authorities said.