Pakistan militants force girl to wear suicide vest

ISLAMABAD Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:41pm EDT

A girl, identified by the police as eight-year-old Sohana Javaid, sits during at a news conference in Lower Dir in this still image taken from video June 20, 2011. REUTERS/Reuters TV

A girl, identified by the police as eight-year-old Sohana Javaid, sits during at a news conference in Lower Dir in this still image taken from video June 20, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Reuters TV

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ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - An eight-year-old Pakistani girl was kidnapped by Islamist militants who forced her to wear a suicide vest to attack security forces, police said on Monday.

Police produced the girl, identified as Sohana Javaid, before a news conference broadcast on Pakistani television channels.

The girl recalled how she was kidnapped from her hometown of Peshawar and brought to the Lower Dir district in the northwest.

"There were two men and two women sitting in a car. They kidnapped me," she told reporters in Dir.

Forced to wear a suicide vest, she was transported to a security check post.

"They put one suicide vest on me, but it did not fit. Then they put on a second one," Sohana said. "I threw away the vest and started shouting (for help) as I came close to the checkpost and they (security forces) took me into custody."

There was no way to independently verify the story.

Pakistani authorities, who are facing a stubborn Taliban insurgency, have in the past produced would-be suicide bombers in front of television cameras. But they have been men or boys.

Suicide bombings by women are rare in Pakistan.

The Taliban have been blamed for many of the suicide bombings across Pakistan.

(Reporting by Zeeshan Haider; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Chris Allbritton and Ron Popeski)

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