An Afghan girl, who was detained by police last Monday after she was found wearing a suicide vest, is speaking out about how her family tried to force her to blow up a police checkpoint in Helmand province.
The girl, identified as 10-year-old Spozhmai, said her father and brother had beaten her, demanding that she put on a suicide vest, the BBC reports.
She was taken into protective custody in the provincial Lashkar Gah, after an Afghan solder found her wearing the explosives-packed vest.
Spozhmai has asked President Hamid Karzai to find her a new home.
Police say the girl’s brother, thought to be a prominent Taliban commander, forced her to carry out the attack.
Spozhmai told the BBC’s Newsday she was frightened to go on with the attack, but her brother had promised that the only people who would die were her targets.
She added that her father had ordered her to come back home, but she did not want to, telling him: “No, I will kill myself rather than go with you.”
Spozhmai said she was said she was “treated as if I was a slave” by her family. She also said she wasn’t allowed to read and write.
“I did all the things at home, I cooked, I cleaned the whole house,” Spozhmai said. “My brother told me you are here in this world and you will die, you are not here to learn or do other things.”
A spokesperson for Karzai’s office said she would return to her family only if tribal elders could guarantee her safety.
“I won't go back there,” she said in her appeal. “God didn't make me to become a suicide bomber. I ask the president to put me in a good place.”
A spokesman for the Helmand provincial governor, Omar Zawak, said Spozhmai’s case is being investigated “very carefully and seriously.” Zawak said more information may surface after the girl’s father is brought in for questioning.
"The governor has appointed a team to investigate the exact information and details,'' the spokesman said. "We have arrested the father and after we speak with him we will give you more details.''
Karzai condemned the Taliban over the incident, but the group denied any involvement in the alleged plot.
Children are occasionally used by the Taliban for carrying out suicide bombings, but human rights groups say the fundamentalist group rarely uses girls for such attacks, News.com.au reported.