Drugged Female Would-Be Suicide Bomber Surrenders (Iraq)

A teenage girl wearing an explosive suicide vest surrendered to police in the Iraqi city of Baqouba rather than detonating the device, according to video pictures released yesterday. The girl, who gave her name as Rania and said she was born in 1993, was shown handcuffed to a metal frame as officers tried to cut away the bomb hidden under layers of floral-decorated robes.

She appeared dazed as officers covered her bare shoulders with a jacket. One policeman suggested she had been drugged before being sent on the mission on Sunday.

The film recorded an officer pulling out a wire before removing the vest. It was reportedly packed with 33lb of explosives in six compartments.

Police said she was fitted with the explosives by female relatives of her husband, whom she married five months ago. An Iraqi police officer claimed the girl’s family was known for supporting al-Qaida in Iraq and that her father had carried out a suicide bombing. She was detained by police.

Women have been used increasingly in suicide attacks in Iraq. The number of female bombers has more than tripled, from eight in 2007 to 29 this year, according to US military officials.

Suicide Bomber Kills Soldiers and Child (Afghanistan)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide bomber blew himself up as an Afghan army convoy slowed to pass a pothole-riddled section of road Friday in eastern Afghanistan, killing four soldiers and a child, a defense official said.

Four other soldiers were wounded in the attack, about eight miles west of Khost city, said Defense Ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi.

Suicide bombers frequently target military convoys, but civilian passers-by are often killed in such attacks.

Insurgency related violence has killed more than 1,200 people — mostly militants — so far this year, according to an Associated Press tally of figures from Western and Afghan officials.

In eastern Kunar province, meanwhile, deputy police chief Abdul Sabor Allayer said a rocket hit a schoolyard on Wednesday in Asmor district, killing one student and wounding four others. The victims were between eight and 14 years old.

Afghanistan’s Education Minister said earlier this year that the number of students and teachers killed in Taliban attacks spiked in the past year in a campaign to close schools and force teenage boys to join the Islamic militia. UNICEF says 236 school-related attacks occurred last year.

Iraqi insurgents use eight-year-old girl as suicide bomber

An eight-year-old girl was strapped with remote-controlled explosives and used as a human bomb by Iraqi insurgents in a blast that killed an Iraqi commander earlier today.

An Iraqi captain was killed and seven other soldiers were injured in the explosion which took place in the town of Youssifiyah, south of Baghdad.

The explosives were detonated as the girl approached the Iraqi commander.

A curfew has now been imposed in the area, and American troops are said to be hunting for those responsible.

Iraqi soldiers inspect the site of a separate car bomb attack that targeted Abdul Karim al-Samarai, a member of Sunni Islamic political party in Baghdad’s Yarmouk district today

“I can confirm that a female suicide bomber attacked an Iraqi Army position,” said a U.S Army spokesman.

Involving women in fighting violates religious taboos in Iraq, but extremists are recruiting females and youths to stage suicide attacks in a desperate attempt to beat tightened security measures.

Women can avoid thorough searches at checkpoints because of Islamic sensitivities, and four have carried out suicide bombings since November.

In February, Iraqi insurgents used two women with Downs Syndrome as human bombs in a blast that killed 99 people in Baghdad.

The women apparently fooled into wearing explosive vests which were then detonated remotely by mobile phones as they mingled with crowds.

It is unclear whether this latest blast used the same method for detonating the bomb.

Source

Double Iraq suicide blast kills 30 in wedding attack

May 1, 2008

A double suicide attack struck a wedding convoy north-east of Baghdad today killing at least 30 and injuring 65.

Police said the attacks occurred in the busy market town of Balad Ruz in the restive Diyala province. There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the attack bore hallmarks associated with al Qaeda in Iraq.

A second bomber was said to have struck as crowds rushed to evacuate the wounded from the first attack, a common tactic used to maximise casualties.

The bombers detonated their explosive vests within minutes of each other according to Major General Abdel Karim al-Rubaie, head of the provincial military command.

“The first bomber blew himself up amid a crowd of people. Minutes later another bomber blew himself up as people were trying to rescue the victims of the first attack,” Mr Rubaie said.

He said the attack took place at around 7pm (1600 GMT) in a street known to sell wedding dresses and gifts.

Suicide bombings are a tactic mainly employed in Iraq by Sunni Arab militant groups such as al Qaeda.

Iraq has seen a jump in violence over the past month, mainly involving clashes pitting Shi’ite militias against US and government troops in Baghdad and the south. But al-Qaeda has also struck with a number of large suicide bombings in the north.

Iraqi government figures show April was the deadliest month for civilians since August last year.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article3857590.ece