Desperation Drives Iraq's Female Bombers

Death of insurgents leaves female relatives feeling suicide is their only option
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2008 7:53 AM CDT
Iraqi women line up for food rations distributed by the Iraqi Army to displaced families who have recently returned to their homes in Iraq's volatile Diyala province on Thursday, July 3, 2008.    (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
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(Newser) – Female suicide bombings are on the rise in Iraq's restive Diyala province, the New York Times reports, and success in combating al-Qaeda may be the cause. Many local insurgents have been killed or detained, leaving their surviving female relatives with little hope for the future. They often come under great pressure to give their own lives for the cause.

Eleven of the 20 female suicide bombings in Iraq so far this year were in Diyala, where the conservative Sunni culture keeps women in subordinate roles. Some bombs were detonated by remote control. "I feel these women are really victims of terrorism,” said an Iraqi woman who wants to start a program to remove possible female bombers to shelters. “Only women in despair, in desperate situations, would do this."