A 13-year old Nigerian girl said her father gave her to Boko Haram extremists, adding that she was arrested after refusing the jihadist group’s demand to carry out a suicide attack.
“When I was told I would have to die to enter paradise, that I would have to explode a bomb and die, I said I cannot do it,” said the girl at a press conference, according to various news accounts.
She added that Boko Haram jihadists were able to “strap her into a vest primed with explosives because they threatened to bury her alive,” Al Arabiya News reports.
“I was afraid to be buried alive,” the girl said.
She was arrested on Dec. 10 in the Keno textile market where two other girls did explode suicide bombs, killing four people and wounding seven, including the girl.
Keno is northern Nigeria’s second largest city.
“Nigeria has suffered numerous suicide bombings in recent months carried out by girls and young women. That has raised fears that the insurgents are using kidnapped girls,” notes The Associated Press.
The girl left her suicide vest on the seat of the taxi that took her to the hospital to treat a leg wound from the Dec. 10 attack, said Police Superintendent Adenrele Shinaba on Wednesday, Al Jazeera reports.
She said she witnessed “many people being buried alive at the Boko Haram camp where her father took her in Bauchi state, east of Kano,” adds Al Jazeera.
Her father, who she claims is a member of Boko Haram, remained at large as of Dec. 25.
“Thousands of people have been killed and 1.6 million driven from their homes in the 5-year-old uprising to create an Islamic state in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation of 160 million people divided between mainly Muslims in the north and Christians in the south,” reports AP.
In April, Boko Haram, homegrown in Nigeria, gained international notoriety when its militants kidnapped hundreds of girls from a school in the northeast town of Chibok.