Iraq: Girl Suicide Bomber "Aged 13 to 17" Surrenders Still Wearing Bomb Vest
It has been revealed in the last hour that a teenage girl would-be suicide bomber in the capital town of Diyala, in the province of Baquba, has handed herself in still wearing her bomb vest. US police confirm the girl had to be relieved of her vest before they could deal with her. She is thought to be aged between thirteen to seventeen, police say.
The region has been the focus of Sunni Al Quaida insurgents.
turned herself in rather than go through with a suicide bombing in a violence-torn city north of Baghdad, police and the US military said.
The military said the girl surrendered to police on Sunday in Baquba, capital of Iraq's restive Diyala province, where Sunni Arab al-Qaeda militants are waging war on US and Iraqi forces.
She was still wearing the vest, which police had to remove before detaining her.
Iraqi police and US sources differed on the girl's age, with estimates ranging from 13 to 17.
"Reports are that she approached the IPs (Iraqi police) saying she had the vest on and didn't want to go through with it," US military spokesman Lieutenant Commander David Russell said.
"If she was forced to put on the vest or if she did it voluntarily, that is still being reviewed."
Police footage obtained by Reuters showed a girl with dyed red hair talking with four Iraqi policemen from a distance, her back against a wall. After some minutes, one them approaches her and ties her arms back onto a railing.
Two policemen then remove the vest. After searching her, one takes off his jacket and drapes it over her to cover the girl's bare shoulders.
Under interrogation in a police station later, she said an older woman had strapped the vest to her and had told her to go near the entrance of a local school and await instructions from someone who would meet her there, police said.