Afghan women to help fight Taliban suicide bombers

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 21:03

London: For the first time, women are being
recruited to the front line of Afghan police to help fight
against one of the Taliban`s most deadly weapons - suicide
bombers.

Previously, Afghan women had only been tasked with menial
backroom responsibilities.

But, with training from British Army and police, Afghan
women are now involved in the fight against Taliban suicide
bombers, Sky News reported.

Afghan cultural sensitivities forbid policemen from
searching women, which can have catastrophic results if they
fail to intercept female suicide bombers. In the past two
years, the Taliban has persuaded some women to conceal
explosives under their burkas.

With some insurgents also disguising themselves as
females to exploit the cultural loophole, policewomen in
Afghanistan have been given the power to stop and search -
and, where necessary, kill, the report said.

At Bost Airport outside Lashkar Gah in Helmand Province,
3rd Lt Nagara Abdul Nabi regularly searches men`s bags and
burka-clad women - something that has not happened until
recently, it said.

She said: "I stopped a car at a checkpoint and a female
passenger began acting suspiciously.

"When I began to search her, the woman struggled and bit
me badly.

"I discovered she had explosives under her burka. She
also had two grenades and an AK-47."

This year has become the deadliest one for nternational
troops in Afghanistan, with 695 NATO troops killed. A total of
806 Afghan soldiers have also been killed since the start of
2010 in attacks by Taliban.

Captain Farid, head of Afghan National Police training,
said: "The Taliban is afraid of policewomen because if they
have a lot of females in the force it means they can search
the Taliban everywhere.

"Some members of the Taliban have even tried to pass
themselves off as females to pass through security."

Catriona McBeath, one of the British police trainers,
said: "Women are essential because they can go places that men
can`t go.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 21:03

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