Ten-year-old girl captured as she attempted to detonate suicide vest outside a police station in Afghanistan
- Tried to carry out an attack on border police in Helmand province
- Police: She was encouraged to carry out the attack by her brother
- The girl is said to be in a state of shock and confusion
By Jill Reilly
PUBLISHED: 15:36, 6 January 2014 |
A ten-year girl was stopped by Afghan police wearing an explosive suicide vest as she tried to carry out a deadly attack
The Interior Ministry said police had apprehended the young girl who had intended to carry out a suicide attack against Afghan border police in southern Helmand province.
The girl, named as Spozhmay, by NDTV, is reported to be as young as ten and thought to be the sister of a prominent Taliban commander, is said to be in a state of shock and confusion.
In a statement, the Interior Ministry said the girl claimed her brother, a local Taliban commander, had sent her on the mission.
According to spokesman Sediq Sediqi, one of the Afghan soldiers spotted the girl wearing a suicide jacket.
But she could not operate the button to detonate the suicide vest or she was arrested before she could carry the attack.
The girl has now been transferred to the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah.
A photo shows the young girl sitting alone on a sofa eating an orange.
In 2011 an eight-year-old girl died after she was tricked into carrying a concealed bomb close to a police vehicle, where it was remotely detonated.
The incident occurred in a remote village called Uwshi, in the Charchino District, said Fazal Ahmad Shirzad, the police chief of Uruzguan Province.
In July it emerged that Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan are bribing starving children as young as eight years old to plant deadly roadside booby traps, be decoys in ambushes and even act as suicide bombers.
Despite the Islamic fundamentalists’ claim they have no children in their ranks, extremists have been actively recruiting orphaned and homeless young boys and training them to use guns, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and suicide vests.
In return, they ply the desperate youngsters with sweets and chocolate, an investigation for Channel 4’s Dispatches programme learned.
Afghan orphan Neaz told how he was just eight when he was promised a handful of coins by Taliban fighters to convert him to their cause. The boy had been tending his father’s flock of sheep when coalition forces bombed his village.
‘The Taliban were hiding in our house when a helicopter came and bombed us,’ he said. ‘My father was hit in his heart and his head, he was torn apart. My mother was hit in the chest and died. I have no one.’
In the immediate aftermath of the raid, Neaz was kidnapped by Taliban leaders and taken to a nearby town and shown how to use guns and make IEDs. They plied him with sweets and he was initially delighted when they said they planned to bring him an extra-special gift – a suicide vest packed with bullets and grenades.
‘They made me try it on. The grenades went all around my body and then they offered me the coins [50 Afghanis – about 60p],’ he said. ‘They told me to blow myself up at a checkpoint. I asked what I’d do with the money if I had to blow myself up. But they kept encouraging me, telling me that if I did it I would go to heaven.’
He finally escaped and walked nine miles to turn himself in at a police station. Now aged ten, Neaz lives in an orphanage in Lashkar Gah.
Other children are less fortunate. There are 224 children in prisons in Helmand and Ghazni, arrested by government forces for planning or carrying out attacks.