The world breathed a sigh of relief that Pakistani jihadists had failed in their attempt to use nine-year-old Sohana Jawed to carry a bomb in an attack that would have killed her. Now, Afghan jihadists tried, and this time, it worked. Perhaps this was a copycat attack; in any event, Sohana’s case is no longer an anomaly, but part of the jihadist playbook in the region.
Where is the outrage? As with yesterday’s hospital bombing — which reportedly hit a maternity ward the hardest — all of Afghanistan, and indeed all of the Muslim world ought to be furious. If there ever were a time for righteous indignation, this would be it. But if protests over the Muhammad cartoons and the Florida Qur’an burning have shown us the ferocity of anger that something said to be “against Islam” can provoke, the relative silence in the face of these acts is deafening.
“Afghanistan: Eight-year-old girl ‘used in attack’,” from BBC News, June 26:
An eight-year-old girl has been killed after insurgents used her in a bomb attack on police in southern Afghanistan, the government has said.
The interior ministry said insurgents gave the girl a package and told her to take it to a police vehicle, detonating it as she approached.
No-one else was killed in the explosion, in Uruzgan province.
The incident came a day after an attack on a hospital which killed at least 38 people in the east of the country.
Dozens were injured. Elderly people, pregnant women and children were said to be among the casualties.
A statement by the ministry described the Uruzgan incident as a “crime and a shameful act”.
The area where the alleged incident happened is very remote, and it was not possible to independently verify the reports.
“The child, pure-hearted and in good faith, took the bag and moved towards the police vehicle,” it said.
“As she got close to the police vehicle, the enemy detonated the bomb by remote control, killing the innocent child.”
The governor of Char Cheno district, where the attack took place, told the BBC the girl was from the nearest village.
She was told nothing would happen to her, he said, adding that the perpetrators had “no boundary, no respect for anything”.
Correspondents say insurgents have recruited both adult women and recently male children to carry out suicide attacks, though the Taliban denies recruiting children.