The boys are men in small bodies.
Kahlan's eyes are wide and innocent. His voice has not creaked yet and is still thin. He takes an AK-47 as tall as his body and in seconds pulls the weapon to his body to hold his aim.
Houthi rebels took Kahlan, a 12-year-old former child soldier and his classmates, promising to give them new school bags, but instead they were enlisted and trained as fighters tasked with carrying supplies to the front lines. There, he had to elude explosions and airstrikes that left mangled casualties on the battlefield.
“The sight of the bodies was scary,” he said.
The boys traumatized by seeing the often mangled bodies of the dead, described fighting and killing in battle.