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Iraqi Woman Arrested for Recruiting Female Suicide Bombers

By VOA News
03 February 2009

Iraq's military said police have arrested a woman suspected of recruiting more than 80 female suicide bombers and of planning nearly 30 attacks.

A military spokesman said the woman belonged to a Sunni militant group, Ansar al-Sunna, and was captured at an undisclosed location about two weeks ago.

Samira Ahmed Jassim, wearing a traditional black Islamic robe, was shown confessing in a video played Tuesday for reporters in Baghdad.

In the video, she explained how she mentally prepared women to be suicide bombers before sending them for training at insurgent bases. She said some of the attacks were carried out in troubled Diyala province, north of Baghdad.

Militant groups in Iraq are using more women on suicide missions because they are less likely to be detected in searches.

Meanwhile, the U.N. special representative for Iraq will report Tuesday on provincial elections, as the nation awaits results from Saturday's polling.

Official results are not expected for several days but already some people are charging fraud.

Among them are tribal leaders in Anbar province. The leaders, who turned against al-Qaida in Iraq two years ago, are angry because they believe the election results were manipulated to favor Sunni rivals from the Iraqi Islamic Party.

Iraqi media said unofficial election results suggest many Iraqis turned away from religious parties they blame for fueling sectarian tensions. The reports said that sentiment benefited allies of Iraq's Shi'ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who campaigned on a law-and-order platform rather than religious themes.

Elections were held in 14 of Iraq's 18 provinces. The others are delaying the vote until various regional issues can be worked out. Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said Monday an agreement has been reached in principle to hold elections on May 19 in the three provinces of the Kurdistan region.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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