“200,000, 300,000, 400,000 riyals!” shouts the auctioneer. Eventually father Abu Salah sells his own son for 1.5million Riyals ($400,000). The macabre video of of an apparent ‘suicide bomber auction’ has emerged on the broadcasting site, YouTube , to the horror of viewers.
The images show a Syrian family selling off their son Khaled to the highest bidder in a sale in Saudi Arabia designed to recruit suicide bombers. Although not explicitly said, the implication from the video is that Khaled will blow himself up in Syria after the auction has finished.
Suicide bombing is a tactic  that has been used extensively by the opposition  in Syria since the beginning of the crisis. Last month two suicide car bombers killed 55 and injured nearly 400 people in Damascus. Kofi Annan, UN envoy to Syria has condemned such bombings as “abhorrent”. “The Syrian people have already suffered too much," he said.
The bidders are not identified in the video but the atmosphere is like that of a wedding as the family members are shown dancing when the bids increase. We are told that Khaled’s brother is already a “martyr” indicating that this is not a one-off event.
Some viewers on the site expressed disbelief that such an auction of flesh and blood really took place, claiming the images looked more like a Syrian fundraiser than an auction for suicide bombers. But the people behind the video were adamant that the sale really did take place.
By Helen Brooks and Ali al Shaikhli
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