The Taliban used a female suicide bomber in one of two attacks that targeted police today in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar that killed seven people.
The young female suicide bomber first tossed a hand grenade and then detonated her vest outside of a police checkpoint in the city, killing an elderly woman. Police claimed the vest did not detonate properly.
“This was a female suicide bomber aged around 17 or 18 who threw a hand grenade on the police checkpost, 20 meters away from the site of the first blast, and then blew herself up,” a police official told AFP. “Her vest did not explode completely. She was killed and another woman was also killed and three policemen were injured.”
In the first attack, the Taliban detonated a bomb hidden in a handcart as a police van passed by. Five policemen and a child were killed in the attack.
Over the past year, the Taliban have begun to use suicide bombers on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border. Today’s suicide attack is the sixth by a female since June 2010 [see list below]. Prior to that attack, the Taliban are not known to have used female suicide bombers.
The Taliban are known have opened camps along the Afghan-Pakistan border that are used to train female bombers, as described by two young girls who were trained to carry out suicide attacks but escaped to tell their stories.
Qari Zia Rahman has established training camps for female suicide bombers in both Pakistan and in Afghanistan. Qari Zia, who the US military has described as a “dual hatted” al Qaeda and Taliban leader, operates in Kunar and Nuristan provinces in Afghanistan and in the tribal agencies of Bajaur and Mohmand in Pakistan. Qari Zia is closely allied with Faqir Mohammed, the Taliban’s leader in Bajaur. He also was close to slain al Qaeda emir Osama bin Laden. Qari Zia’s fighters are from Chechnya, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and various Arab nations.
Suicide attacks by female bombers in Afghanistan and Pakistan
A female suicide bomber killed an elderly woman while attempting to attack a police outpost in Peshawar.
The Taliban gave an eight-year-old girl a bag of explosives and had her walk to a police outpost in the Cino Charo district. The explosives detonated before she reached the police, killing only the girl.
Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan
A husband and wife team, said to be Uzbeks, attacked a police station in the town of Kolachi. The team entered the town’s police station under the guise of filing a complaint and took several policemen hostage. The pair detonated their vests as police laid siege to the station, killing seven policemen and a tea boy. The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan claimed the attack, and said it was carried out to avenge the death of al Qaeda founder and former leader Osama bin Laden.
The Taliban claimed credit for a female suicide attack in the Marawara district that killed three interpreters. The Taliban released an official statement on their propaganda website, Voice of Jihad, and claimed that a “Mujahida sister” killed 12 US and Afghan troops.
A female suicide bomber killed 42 Pakistani civilians in an attack at a World Food Program ration distribution point in Khar, Bajaur.
A female suicide bomber struck for the first time in Afghanistan in Kunar province. In the attack, two US soldiers were killed and two Afghan children were wounded. Qari Zia Rahman claimed credit for the suicide attack.