>> My dear family, please forgive me. Don't be sad and don't wear the black clothes of mourning.>> The parting words of a teenager to his loved ones, Alaa Abd al-Akeedi. Once a Mosul school boy, he died an Islamic State suicide bomber. His family never received the letter discarded in a militant training compound in the city.
One of the several documents found by Reuters as Iraq's army pushes deeper into Mosul, the last stronghold of the jihadists in the country. Offering a rare glimpse into the mindsets and lives of those who sought martyrdom.>> I asked to get married and you didn't marry me off.
So, by God, I will marry the 72 virgins in paradise.>> Another document lists the names of some 50 of his peers. The info couldn't be independently verified, but Reuters found the families of three of the recruits, including Akeedi's. They told of teenagers who joined Islamic state over their relative's objections and all killed within months.
The father of another boy, Atheer Ali, said his son was a good student who loved fishing and watching the American National Geographic TV channel. He died too young to grow facial hair said to be in an air strike. Islamic state attracted thousands of young recruits in Mosul when they took it in 2014.
Much of the city's largely Sunni population welcomed IS at the time, believing them to be protectors from Iraq's majority Shiite population.