LASHKARGAH, Afghanistan – An Afghan girl who says her brother sought to use her as a suicide bomber asked President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday to find her a new home.
In an interview with The Associated Press, the girl known as Spozhmai said she fears that if she returns to her family she again will be asked to blow herself up with an explosives-packed vest. During the interview she called on Karzai to put her "in a good place."
Spozhmai, who authorities say is 10, was detained by police Monday after what they described as a botched attempt to blow up a police checkpoint in southern Khan Nishin district. She is in protective custody in the Helmand provincial capital Lashkargah. Police continue to search for the girl's brother, who they say escaped with the suicide vest.
"If I go back they will do the same to me, they will make me wear the suicide vest," Spozhmai told the AP. "I won't go back there. God didn't make me to be a suicide bomber."
Omar Zawak, a spokesman for the Helmand provincial governor, said Spozhmai's case is being investigated "very carefully and seriously." Zawak said more details may emerge after the girl's father is questioned.
"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."
The head of a local human rights group said his group is working with the police and other officials to arrange care for the girl.
"It is a deep concern of the Human Rights Council to save the life of this child because the situation in Helmand and in Khan Nishin district is not very safe for now," Bilal Seddiqi said.
Police say they believe the girl's account, in which her brother asked the girl to wear a suicide vest and approach a police checkpoint to ask for a ride to a neighboring province. The girl backed out of the plan at the last minute and her brother, identified as Zahir, fled with the vest, police said.
Karzai condemned the Taliban over the incident, but the group denied any involvement in the alleged plot.
Human rights groups say the insurgent group occasionally has dispatched children for suicide bombings, but girls have been rarely used for such attacks.