A chilling video showing a group of Egyptian children staging an Islamic State (Isis)-like beheading with wooden sticks has sent shockwaves through the country after it emerged in the aftermath of the brutal execution of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christian workers who were abducted by IS in Libya.
The 24-second video follows the style of clips produced and shared by IS, with two small children kneeling before two bigger children who represent jihadi militants holding wooden sticks to their throats. The group is edged by two other children who hold their wooden sticks like swords.
Another boy speaks to camera and claims: "We have no religion or nation. We slaughter children, women, and the elderly. We have decided the following - to kill all the youths of the town of [inaudible]. Slaughter then, o men!" according to a translation by Bahraini blogger and journalist Amira al-Hussaini on Global Voices.
Then, the two fake militants mimic an IS execution by pretending to behead the victims.
It is unclear where or when the video was made. According to Egyptian freelance journalist Tamer Abdo Amin, the children come from the Egyptian town of El-Mahalla El-Kubra, an industrial and agricultural hub in the Nile Delta region.
Several journalists like Amin posted the video on social media to express their disgust at the impact of IS videos on children in Egypt.
IS has often paraded children soldiers in their propaganda videos shot in war zones and recruitment camps in Iraq and Syria. In their latest video, children are seen training with the jihadist group: standing in formation, chanting, praying and taking part in physical exercises. The footage features the al-Farouk training camp for children located in Raqqa, IS's de facto capital.
Among the group of about 80 youths are some foreign children who have apparently passed the second level of training. They are depicted answering religious questions and reciting the Quran.
The "cubs" of IS are used as human shields, suicide bombers and enforcers.