Karachi University Blast: A Look at Most Dangerous Female Suicide Bombers Across Years
Wafa Idris from the Am'ari Refugee Camp in Ramallah, Palestine, is believed to be the first female suicide bomber in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
New Delhi: Manisha Koirala did it in Dil Se (1998), Tulip Joshi did it in Dhokha (2007), Ayesha Dharker did it in The Terrorist (1998), and in all probability got paid handsomely for blowing up themselves since they portrayed suicide bombers in their respective movies.
They say art imitates life and vice-versa, but there is a very fine line between the two especially when it is about as sensitive and burning issues like terrorism, mindless carnage in the name of “a cause” or blowing up people who didn’t even matter in the first place just because “the target” happened to be among them; collateral damage!
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Something similar happened, and in real life, in the port city of Karachi in neighbouring Pakistan, where at Pakistan’s Karachi University on April 26, a burqa-clad woman, identified as 30-year-old Shari Baloch, blew herself up at the entrance of the Karachi University’s Confucius Institute as a white van, carrying Chinese nationals approached the gate. According to the reports, four people were killed while several were wounded.
It is a common belief that suicide bombing is men’s domain and women chip in only occasionally.
This belief can be contested later but here we look at some of the most notorious female suicide bombers who terrified the civilised world.
Shari Baloch is already mentioned, who was reportedly aligned with the separatist Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA). The BLA said that she was the first woman suicide bomber for the group.
Dhanu, real name Thenmozhi Rajaratnam, also known as Kalaivani Rajaratnam, or Gayatri was a member of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and on a mission to assassinate former Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi while he was campaigning for the 1991 General Elections. When Rajiv Gandhi reached Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu on 21 May 1991, Dhanu approached and greeted him and then she then bent down to touch his feet and detonated an RDX explosive-laden belt tucked below her dress. The bombing claimed 16 lives and left many wounded as per the reports.
Nigeria-based Boko Haram is another terrorist organization that usually employs women suicide bombers to attack their targets. On 16 March 2016, two female suicide bombers, believed to be members of Boko Haram, killed 22 people worshiping at the Molai-Umarari mosque on the outskirts of Maiduguri in Nigeria. On June 22, 2015, female suicide bombers struck a fish market, killing 20. On February 9, 2016, two female suicide bombers affiliated with Boko Haram killed more than 60 people and injured 78 others as they detonated their explosives at a camp for displaced people in Dikwa, Nigeria.
On 9 December 2016, two women suicide bombers attacked Madagali, a town in Nigeria in which at least 57 people were killed and more than 170 injured.
Muriel Degauque, a Belgian woman from Charleroi carried out a suicide bombing in Iraq on 9 November 2005 against a US military convoy in the town of Baquba, south of Baghdad. Raised in Belgium, Muriel is said to be Europe’s first suicide bomber.
Puji Kuswati became Indonesia’s first female suicide bomber in May 2018, when she, along with her minor daughters, blew themselves up as part of coordinated attacks in churches in Surabaya. Police suspect she had returned from Syria prior to the attack and was affiliated with the terror group ISIS.
Wafa Idris from the Am’ari Refugee Camp in Ramallah, Palestine, is believed to be the first female suicide bomber in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. At the time of her death, Idris was a 28-year-old, divorced Red Crescent Volunteer.
Idris detonated a 22-pound bomb in the center of Jerusalem outside a shoe store on Jaffa Road that killed two people, including her and injured more than 100 others. The attack took place on 27 January 2002. She carried the bomb in a backpack rather than strapped to her body.
Reem Saleh Riyashi was a Palestinian suicide bomber from Gaza City. She blew herself up and killed herself and four Israelis at the Erez crossing on January 14, 2004.
Hanadi Tayseer Abdul Malek Jaradat, a Palestinian woman, blew herself up on October 4, 2003 in a suicide attack on Maxim restaurant in the northern Israeli city of Haifa, killing 21 people and wounding 51.
Well, the list can go on but the issue is not really worthy of being in harmony with humanity and the civilised world where billions of people struggle every day to survive poverty, hardships, suffering, illnesses, and adversities of varied kinds.
May the world become another place that knows no acrimony or animosity of the lowest denomination. Even if it does then the problems are sorted peacefully in a refined, humane manner.
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