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A martyr for $1

Adam | 16.03.2004 15:31

Palestinians have used ambulances, women and foreigners to carry out terror attacks but the cynical use of a 12 year old schoolboy yesterday, which would have been claimed as a suicide bombing, is a new low in the methods of the extremists.

Maariv 17/03/04

The mother of Abdullah Karan, the Palestinian boy who was caught with a bomb in his schoolbag yesterday, says that she does not believe a Palestinian terror group would consider blowing up the explosive device while her son was carrying it.

Dalal Karan, 42, says that she only found out about her son's arrest yesterday evening, after he returned home accompanied by scores of journalists. "He told me he was caught by the army after attempting to take bags through a checkpoint and said the bags contained clothes and vehicle spare parts", she added.

According to the mother, Abdullah told her that two adults approached him and asked that he take three bags intended for an elderly woman through the checkpoint. The boy was subsequently stopped by a soldier, who asked him to open the bags. Abdullah claims that after sappers blew up the explosive device, soldiers beat him up and then took him in for questioning.

The boy was interrogated for long hours and released in the evening after security authorities were satisfied that he did not know the content of the bag he had been asked to transport.

Israeli security sources said earlier that the twelve-year-old Karan was apparently sent by Tanzim terrorists who intended to detonate the bomb by remote control while the boy stood among soldiers at a checkpoint.

The incident occurred near Nablus. A female Border Police officer at the checkpoint noticed the child struggling to carry a heavy school bag. The officer asked him to open the bag and found that it contained a 6-kg explosive device.

The child said he was instructed to deliver the bag to a Palestinian waiting at the other side of the checkpoint in exchange for “a large sum of money”. The boy then said that the "large sum" promised was NIS 5 (about $ 1).

An investigation, however, revealed that Tanzim (a terrorist group associated with the mainstream Palestinian Fatah movement) tried to detonate the bomb by remote control while the boy was at the checkpoint.

The governor of Nablus, Mahmoud Al-Alul, condemned the use of a schoolboy to carry out an attack “It is a despicable crime that no sane person could ever imagine”, said Al- Alul.