An Afghan girl believed to be 10-years-old says that her brother and his friend forced her to wear a suicide vest and carry out an attack on police.
The BBC reported that the girl, named Spogmai, could be as young as eight and is the sister of a prominent Taliban commander known as Zahir.
According to Britain's Daily Telegraph, her brother strapped her into the explosive harness and sent her across a river to her target, a border police checkpoint in Helmand province.
In an interview after the ordeal, she said that she shouted “it’s cold and I can’t cross the water.”
She said that her brother and his friend then took her home where her father beat her. Later that night, she says, she ran away from home and in the morning surrendered to police.
The Telegraph quoted local reports which suggested that the girl’s male relatives had pressured her into the terrorist act with accusations of “illicit relations” with officers.
Border police Col Hamidullah Siddique said that the girl has asked the police not to send her home to her family due to fear of reprisals.
Siddique told NBC News, “She was crying and told border police that she was made obliged by her brother to do suicide attack on them.”
Police are now looking for her brother.
Recent media reports have documented the rising numbers of children being recruited as suicide bombers by the Taliban, including a report in the Guardian which said that often this comes “with their parents’ blessing.”
Here is an interview she gave after her harrowing experience: