Girl, 13: My Dad Gave Me to Boko Haram as Suicide Bomber

But when told she'd have to die to get to paradise, 'I said I cannot do it'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 25, 2014 8:25 AM CST
Girl, 13: My Dad Gave Me to Boko Haram as Suicide Bomber
In this photo taken Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014, Zahra'u Babangida, a 13-year-old girl arrested with explosives strapped to her body in Kano on Dec. 10, 2014.   (AP Photo)

A 13-year-old says her father gave her to Boko Haram extremists and that she was arrested after refusing to explode a suicide bomb in Kano, Nigeria's second largest city in the north. Nigeria has suffered numerous suicide bombings in recent months carried out by girls and young women. That has raised fears that the insurgents are using kidnapped girls. Zahra'u Babangida told a news conference last night that she saw many people being buried alive at the Boko Haram camp where her father took her in Bauchi state, east of Kano. She said her captors asked if she wanted to go to paradise and, when she said yes, explained she would have to be a suicide bomber. "When I was told I would have to die to enter paradise, that I would have to explode a bomb and die, I said I cannot do it," she said.

When they threatened to kill her, Zahra'u allowed them to strap her into a vest primed with explosives, saying "I was afraid to be buried alive." Two other girls detonated their bombs at Kano's textile market on Dec. 10. Police said the attack killed four people and wounded seven, including Zahra'u. Police Superintendent Adenrele Shinaba said the girl was arrested in the hospital with a leg wound. A taxi driver took her to the hospital, and she said she left her suicide vest on the seat. The driver alerted police. Shinaba said she will remain in custody while investigations continue. He said they had been unable to find her father, who Zahra'u said belongs to Boko Haram. (More Boko Haram stories.)

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