UK & World News
Suicide Vest Afghan Girl, 10, Asks For New Home
An Afghan girl who claimed her brother tried to use her as a suicide bomber has asked President Hamid Karzai to find her a new home.
In an interview on Wednesday the girl, known as Spozhmai, said she feared that if she returns to her family she will again be asked to blow herself up with an explosives-packed vest.
Spozhmai, who authorities say is 10 years old, was detained by police on Monday after what they described as a botched attempt to blow up a police checkpoint in the southern Khan Nishin district.
She is being held in protective custody in the Helmand provincial capital Lashkar Gah.
She said: "If I go back there, they will do the same to me, they will make me wear the suicide vest. I won't go back there.
"God didn't make me to become a suicide bomber. I ask the president to put me in a good place."
Afghan police have continued to search for the girl's brother, reportedly a Taliban commander, who is thought to have escaped with the suicide vest. The local Taliban denied any involvement in the alleged plot, which they dismissed as government propaganda.
Omar Zawak, a spokesman for the Helmand provincial governor, said a team had been appointed to investigate the case.
He said authorities have arrested the girl's father and that they would "investigate the issue very carefully and seriously".
Bilal Seddiqi, head of the independent human rights commission in Helmand, said: "It is a deep concern of the human rights commission to save the life of this child."
Taliban militants have been accused in the past of using young boys to plant roadside bombs and act as suicide bombers, although they have always denied this.
The Taliban has been fighting against the US-backed government since it was ousted from power in late 2001 after the 9/11 attacks in the United States.
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