Sat, Jul 19, 2008 - Page 5 News List

Police arrest child, woman in alleged Ghazni bomb plot

CAUGHT IN THE ACT The two were arrested as they were fixing explosives to themselves behind the residence of the provincial governor, authorities said

AFP, GHAZNI , AFGHANISTAN

Police arrested a woman and a 13-year-old child they alleged were suicide bombers planning to kill a provincial governor in central Afghanistan, officials said yesterday.

The pair were arrested late Thursday as they were fixing explosives to themselves behind the governor’s residence in Ghazni, provincial government spokesman Ismail Jahangir said.

“They both were attempting to get into [the] governor’s compound and target the governor and high-ranking officials,” Jahangir said.

Women rarely carry out attacks in Afghanistan’s insurgency, which is led by the Taliban movement that was in government between 1996 and 2001 and is said to have support from extremist circles based in Pakistan.

A suicide attack in May in southwestern Farah Province was apparently carried out by a woman in a burqa.

Jahangir said the woman and child could not speak either of Afghanistan’s main languages, Dari and Pashtu, but spoke Urdu and Arabic.

The pair were presented to the media several hours after their arrest.

The deputy police chief of Ghazni, Abdul Ghani, told reporters the woman had said she was from Multan, Pakistan, and had come to the city — the capital of a province of the same name — to carry out a suicide attack.

She claimed to have entered the country with three associates who had not been arrested, Ghani said. The police chief did not confirm whether the boy was also meant to be involved in the bombing or what his relationship was to the woman.

A 14-year-old boy from Pakistan’s tribal belt was arrested with explosives in Ghanzi last year and told police he had been tasked with killing the governor.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai pardoned the boy and handed him over to his parents.

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