Children in Somalia have been given guns, cash and religious books for winning a radio contest, according to reports.

The BBC reported the first-place winners of a contest in which the kids recited the Koran on the air received an AK-47 and the equivalent of $700, while the second place winners got an AK-47 and $500. Third place winners were given two hand grenades and $400. All the winners were also given religious books.

“Youths should use one hand for education and the other for a gun to defend Islam,” senior al-Shabab official Mukhtar Robow told those attending the ceremony in Elasha, 20 km from Mogadishu, the BBC reported.

The radio contest on Andulus radio, linked to al-Qaida, was held during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

BBC correspondent Mohamed Moalumni reported this is the third year the contest has been held.

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