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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Afghanistan President Pardons Suicide Bomber

From timesonline.com: An unprecedented move by President Karzai of Afghanistan to pardon a teenage Taleban suicide bomber – and pay him $2,000 to travel home to Pakistan – has drawn stinging criticism and warnings that it will encourage such attacks.

“It is a very silly idea to forgive such criminals. He was a volunteer,” Mullah Malang, an MP from Baghdis province, told The Times. “When he goes back to Pakistan he will tell all his friends that he deceived the Afghan Government. He is brainwashed, he will always be a Taleb.”

The extraordinary case involved Rafiqullah, 14, a would-be suicide bomber, who was captured in May by Afghan police in the province of Khost, which borders Pakistan. He was wearing a suicide vest and riding a motorbike. His target was Arsala Jamal, the governor of the province.

He had crossed the border from South Waziristan, a troubled tribal belt in Pakistan, where he lived and had been attending a religious school. “Today we are facing a hard fact, that is, a Muslim child was sent to madrassa [religious school] to learn Islamic subjects, but the enemies of Afghanistan misled him towards suicide and prepared him to die and kill,” Mr Karzai told reporters. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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