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Young Afghan girl wearing suicide vest says family coerced her to target police checkpoint

Afghan Border Police / AFP - Getty Images

A close-up of 10-year-old Spozhmai at the police office in Helmand province Monday.

A young Afghan girl found wearing a suicide vest has spoken of how she escaped her family after they allegedly told her to blow up a police checkpoint.

Spozhmai, who is 10 years old and was identified by just one name, said her Taliban-commander brother and his friend gave her the vest and directed her towards the checkpoint in the Khan Nasheen district.

She told Reuters on Monday that she refused to wade through a cold river to get to the checkpoint, and she was beaten by her father when she returned home.

She fled to the nearby village of Balochan, where she spent the night before handing herself in to authorities the next day.


"My brother Zahir and his friend Jabar forced me to wear the suicide vest," she told Reuters. Spozhmai said that her brother had given her an extra set of clothes to wear on the other side of the river. "But when I saw the water and coldness I shouted, and said 'That it is cold and I can't cross the water.'"

She added: "They moved me back home and [took] off the vest from my body. My father beat me. I had to run away from home in the middle of the night and spent the rest of night in a village nearby to our home called Balochan village. And early morning I surrendered myself to the police force in that area."

A 10-year old Afghan girl was pushed towards a suicide mission by her brother, a Taliban commander. Afghan police say they discovered a young girl with a suicide vest strapped to her chest. Jonathan Rugman, Channel Four Europe reports.   

Col. Hamidullah Sediqi, commander of border police in Lashkar Gah, said: "She was forced by two Taliban commanders to wear the suicide vest and blow up the police base.

"One of the commander is her brother. As you can see this innocent girl, she shouldn't be doing this. No one and no religion allows her to do this."

Fawzia Koof, an Afghan member of parliament, told NBC News on Tuesday that  to her knowledge the attempted attack was the first of its kind.

"It's the first time that we have had a girl so young who is motivated by her brother," Koof said. "How can it be so brutal that he is not nice to his own sister?"

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