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Afghan police hunt brother of 'suicide girl' aged 10

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Afghan police on Tuesday searched for a Taliban commander who allegedly forced his 10-year-old sister to wear an explosives-packed vest on an aborted suicide attack in the southern province of Helmand.

The interior ministry said the girl, named as Spozhmai, was detained before she detonated the vest near a police checkpoint in the district of Khanashin.

Speaking on Monday at a press conference, the girl said she had been ordered by her brother to undertake the suicide mission but had decided not to carry it through.

"We have appointed a team to investigate this," Omar Zwak, the Helmand governor's spokesman, told AFP.

"They will try to find the brother and father of the girl, and they will visit the police post and talk to the police who found and detained the girl. We are trying to find out what exactly has happened."

Amid several conflicting accounts of the incident, some officials said she had been wearing the vest when she was arrested, while others said no vest had been recovered.

The Tolo TV news channel said the girl was unable to operate the button to detonate the explosives.

She told reporters in Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand, that her brother had coerced her to put on the vest and walk to the police post after an argument with her stepmother.

The girl said she had dumped the vest in a river before being arrested. She was in police custody on Tuesday.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140107/afghan-police-hunt-brother-suicide-girl-aged-10