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53 children were rescued from the torturous conditions of a madrassa in Karachi on Wednesday 14th November, many of whom were found chained to walls, when freed by security forces.
Children as young as 7 and 21 teenagers were among those found during the raid on the self-styled seminary in Pakistan's biggest city.
Former students including an eight-year-old; told the Herald Sun, they were regularly beaten at the school, which was equipped with chains, hooks and a warren of basement rooms.
Police said the students were chained up because they were drug addicts whom the madrassa "wanted to rehabilitate", but many details remain unclear.
Madrassas, are known to provide the poorest families in Pakistan with the only affordable education regulation is lacking and the same establishments have become recruitment grounds for the Taliban and other al-Qaida-linked terror groups.
The Herald Sun revealed a number of concerns highlighted by former pupils:
Accounts given to AFP by students and relatives indicated that impoverished families believed the madrassa could offer treatment to drug addicts and a religious education to the youngest boys.