For the first time, women are being recruited to the front line of Afghan police to help fight against one of the Taliban’s most deadly weapons – suicide bombers. Previously, Afghan women had only been tasked with menial backroom responsibilities. But, with training from British Army and police, Afghan women are now involved in the fight against Taliban suicide bombers, Sky News reported.
Afghan cultural sensitivities forbid policemen from searching women, which can have catastrophic results if they fail to intercept female suicide bombers. In the past two years, the Taliban has persuaded some women to conceal explosives under their burkas. With some insurgents also disguising themselves as females to exploit the cultural loophole, policewomen in Afghanistan have been given the power to stop and search -and, where necessary, kill, the report said.
At Bost Airport outside Lashkar Gah in Helmand Province, 3rd Lt Nagara Abdul Nabi regularly searches men’s bags and burka-clad women – something that has not happened until recently, it said. She said: “I stopped a car at a checkpoint and a female passenger began acting suspiciously. When I began to search her, the woman struggled and bit me badly. I discovered she had explosives under her burka. She also had two grenades and an AK-47.”
This year has become the deadliest one for international troops in Afghanistan, with 695 NATO troops killed. A total of 806 Afghan soldiers have also been killed since the start of 2010 in attacks by Taliban. Captain Farid, head of Afghan National Police training, said: “The Taliban is afraid of policewomen because if they have a lot of females in the force it means they can search the Taliban everywhere. Some members of the Taliban have even tried to pass themselves off as females to pass through security.” Catriona McBeath, one of the British police trainers, said: “Women are essential because they can go places that men can’t go.