Brother forces 10-year-old Afghan girl to wear suicide vest

The girl ended up in police custody after the botched suicide attack

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A 10-year-old Afghan girl was forced by her brother to wear a vest packed with explosives and blow herself up at a police building, but the attempted suicide attack failed when the girl ended up in police custody, Al Arabiya correspondent reported on Tuesday.

“Police stopped a 10-year-old girl from executing a suicide attack instigated by her brother, a leader in the Taliban movement, against a police headquarters in the Khanashin district in the province of Helmand,” Afghanistan’s Bakhtar News Agency quoted the commander of Helmand’s security department as saying.

An Afghani police source said security forces stopped the girl and dismantled her explosive vest before she detonated herself.

But during a press conference, aired by India’s NDTV channel, the girl said she surrendered herself to the police hours after she refused to detonate herself.

“My brother and his friend forced me to wear the vest, but when I saw the water and the coldness I shouted, and said ‘it is cold and I can’t cross the water.’ They took me back home and took the vest off my body, my father beat me, I had to run away from home in the middle of the night and early morning I surrendered myself to the police force,” said the girl, named Spoghmai.

Her statement, which contradicted the information provided by the police, was backed by another official statement released by the Afghani Ministry of Interior.

“The child surrendered herself voluntarily to security forces in the checkpoint where she was meant to carry out the attack in Helmand province,” Al Arabiya correspondent quoted the ministry’s statement.

The Afghan authorities have previously accused Taliban of using children as suicide bombers against official security forces in the country.