An 8-year-old Afghan girl was apparently tricked into a suicide
bombing yesterday, while a Pakistani girl who narrowly escaped a
similar ploy was returned home to her family last night.
A 9-year-old girl who was drugged, abducted, and strapped into a
suicide vest by militants last week in Pakistan returned home safely
to her family last night. But the scene was darker yesterday in
Afghanistan where insurgents apparently tricked an 8-year-old girl
into carrying a bomb and blew her up near a police checkpost.
Spokesmen for the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban deny involvement
in either attack. While teenage boys have been used by militias
since the anti-Soviet jihad, some regional experts doubt that
Taliban leaders would stoop to using young girls. The problem there?
Those top leaders are not fully in control of forces on the ground.
"It wouldn't be the policy of the high command - they wouldn't
want to use young girls," says Saad Mohammad, director of the Forum
for Area Studies in Peshawar, Pakistan. "A lot of people take
advantage of the name of the Taliban, and they have their own scores
to settle with some policemen there [or other feuds], so they take
the cover of the Taliban."
Such lack of ground control highlights a pitfall in the Afghan
peace process. Even if the United States manages to cut a deal with
the Taliban leadership, it's not certain low-level commanders would
fall in line.
Sunday's attack took place in Uruzgan Province of central
Afghanistan. The interior ministry claims that "the enemies of peace
and prosperity" gave an 8-year-old girl a bag of explosives, telling
her to take it to the police. As she approached a police vehicle,
the militants detonated the explosives by remote control. The girl
died. But no police were killed or injured.
Requirements for a suicide attacker
Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid says the Taliban were
not involved in the incident. He went on to say that Islamic
scholars followed by the Taliban have laid down six conditions for a
The attacker must:
inflict casualties or concern in the non-Muslim ranks.
be an adult over 18.
have a clear target approved by the local shadow governor.
have studied the attack plans.
have the intention of doing this just for God.
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