Afghan President Pardons Teenage Suicide Bomber
In a move that is sure to upset some, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has pardoned a teenage suicide bomber and sent him home to Pakistan.
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.
Karzai issued the pardon at a formal ceremony:
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