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    Bombing suspect says Pakistani mullahs brainwashed him

    TIRINKOT (PAN): A suspected attempted suicide bomber arrested Wednesday said Pakistani mullahs had brainwashed him.

    Saifullah, a resident of Pakistan's tribal region of Waziristan, was arrested by a joint Afghan and international security force during a raid on the house of Mullah Qasim in the Sur Marghab area near Tirinkot, the capital of central Uruzgan province, on Wednesday.

    The would-be bomber was shown to the media during a press conference addressed by provincial police chief Col. Fazl Ahmad Sherzad.

    A resident of Kohat district, Saifullah is being held at police headquarters. He joined the Taliban in Kohat after he left home due to a dispute with his brother.

    "I met a Talib at a centre in Kohat and I told him that I wanted to go for jihad in Afghanistan. The Talib blindfolded me and took me to Haji Zahir," Saifullah said.

    He said he was told that he was new to the movement and could create problems for the Taliban if he later backed out of his decision to carry out a suicide attack.

    But he said he was taken to a car, which reached a house after a long journey. The house had nine rooms and a garden. He was told that it was Koshlagh area.

    "Pakistani mullahs preached to us about benefits of the jihad. Within two days, my mind changed. I started regretting my past life. I think they gave us something in food that may have changed my mind," Saifullah said.

    He said a number of mullahs would visit them and would tell them that Americans had occupied Afghanistan and there should be a jihad against them.

    "I was among eight others willing to carrying out suicide attacks and another 32 boys receiving training for attacks," he said.

    He said they were taught for two days about suicide attacks and finally he agreed to carry one out.

    He said a mullah named Qasim blindfolded them and took them to the Chaman border crossing.

    "I along with 14 others reached Tirinkot City in a car. I and two others remained with Mullah Qasim and the rest were sent to different parts of the city," he said. Saifullah said he the two others were kept in a house. He said they spent at least two months wandering around the city to select a proper time and place for an attack.

    "Many times we encountered foreigners, but Mullah Qasim would escape after seeing foreigners and finally we were arrested without carrying out any attack," he said.

    Saifullah urged the Afghan government not to hand him over to Pakistani intelligence. He said if he was handed over to Pakistan, he would be killed.

    He said it was his last wish to see his mother. He also thanked the Uruzgan police for their good behavior.

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