Taliban use females in recent suicide attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Over the past two days, the Taliban on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border have used females to carry out suicide operations.

The first attack took place at a police station in the town of Kolachi in the district of Dera Ismail Khan in northwestern Pakistan. A husband and wife, both wearing burkas, 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 attackers were a husband and wife,” Taliban spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan told Reuters. “We will keep carrying out attacks with different strategies.”

The second attack took place today, in the Char Chino district in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan. The Taliban gave an eight-year-old girl a bag of explosives and had her walk to a police outpost, according to the Afghan Ministry of Interior. The explosives detonated before she reached the police, killing only the girl.

The Taliban have carried out three suicide attacks using females this month. On June 4, the Taliban claimed credit for a suicide attack in the Marawara district in Kunar province, Afghanistan 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.

Prior to this month, there have only been two other suicide attacks in Afghanistan or Pakistan carried out by females since the US deposed the Taliban regime during the invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001. Both of those attacks have taken place in the past year.

A female suicide bomber struck for the first time in the region in the Afghan province of Kunar, on June 21, 2010. Two US soldiers were killed and two Afghan children were wounded in the attack. A senior al Qaeda and Taliban commander named Qari Zia Rahman claimed credit for the bombing.

The next female suicide attack took place on Dec. 24, 2010, in Pakistan’s tribal agency of Bajaur. The suicide bomber killed 42 Pakistani civilians in an attack at a World Food Program ration distribution point.

The Taliban are known to have opened suicide camps along the Afghan-Pakistan border, according to the accounts of 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 operates in Kunar and Nuristan provinces in Afghanistan and in the tribal agencies of Bajaur and Mohmand in Pakistan.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Nick Hanz says:

    Maybe if we stopped interfering in the region, people would stop fighting.
    Our presence in peoples countries is the cause for all the violence. So if one does the math, we need to leave because we have already lost.

  • Marlin says:

    The Pakistani Taliban have identified the husband and wife team as Uzbek nationals.

    Ten policemen were killed Saturday when Taliban militants in burkas attacked a police station in northwest Pakistan, near South Waziristan, a lawless Islamist militant stronghold on the Afghan border.

  • Neonmeat says:

    @ Nick Hanz
    You really believe people would stop fighting if the ISAF left?
    I think that is a rather niave opinion personally, the Taliban/AQ will continue to battle against the Afghan Gov whether Western Forces are there or not.
    Also we have to take in account Tribal emnities that go back hundreds of years. You will notice from the above article that these attacks were on Afghan forces not the Western Allies so to believe this would stop if the Allies left I think is incorrect.

  • namvet says:

    Nick, you are very young or have a short memory. With no American forces in Afghanistan, The Taliban managed to slaughter people in the Kabul soccer field for sport. While at great loss to America, Afghanistan is much more peaceful than it has been in many years.

  • Al says:

    Nick,, The takeover attempts by violent elements will take place no matter. Taliban took over Afghanistan before US was there. US leaving will just assure the do it tha much faster. IMO, of course.
    Radical Islam will just kill anyone who stands in their way, Muslim or not.

  • Infidel4LIFE says:

    The mission was to kill/dismantle AQ. We have done that. This region is full of radical moslems, but this here is disturbing. A little girl? Thats pure evil, if there is a “God” I hope the people who sent these people to their own deaths get theirs in this life or the next.

  • steve m. says:

    Nick, one question, were we in the country pre 9-11?

  • DANNY says:

    Nick tell that fable to all those killed after we pulled out of Vietnam… Oh wait all those people are dead. You sound like you think the Islamist will be nicer than the communist, Fat chance. They too wish to rule the whole world. We may lose a few battles but we will not lose this war. REASON: because nobody who knows what freedom is, really wants to be converted to Islam… Thus we fight!
    You really think anything we have done causes these nut jobs to hate us and makes them kill innocents (to try and make us look bad and create fear)? Evil comes out of a man’s heart, quite easily at that. America didn’t start this war, Islamic extremist are just picking back up where we the west stopped them back in the middle ages. What you don’t believe history? or are you just trying to re-write it?

  • Mr. Wolf says:

    Nic, life doesn’t happen that way. This child was 8. Old enough to start learning trades around the house, or how to start reading food labels. Instead, the taliban, or whatever group(s), are killing innocents. It started with blowing up schools for girls, or throwing acid on teachers. Now it is straight to the nitro. This needs to be more than a military solution, it’s political and deserves diligent police work for the fight for their future.

  • David says:

    Have we really dismantled AQ? It looks like
    we’ve seriously damaged it, but if given a sanctuary
    and some state support, I think it would revive
    quite well. And the events of May2, among others,
    prove to me that the Pakistani military supports
    the aims and goals of AQ, ie. it is their intention to
    make war on us. If AQ disappears, will they not just
    reconstitute another such group?

  • delta mike says:

    Mike Hanz’s comment that “maybe people would stop fighting if we would stop “interfering”. Mr Hanz needs to become familiar with Islamic Doctrine. War against the Kuffar is eternal, and has nothing to do with our “interfering” with anything.
    Islamic Jihad tactics is always to claim they are the ‘victims’ and their attacks were “defensive”. But of course, the original real “offense” was not to accept Muhammad as the final Prophet.


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