Feminine face of terror

Woman suicide bomber blows herself up during terror raid in France

A body is removed from the apartment raided by French Police special forces earlier in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, on November 18, 2015. (ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)

Authorities in France executed an overnight raid of an apartment in Saint-Denis, a suburb of Paris, in the hunt for the mastermind of Friday’s attacks in Paris that left more than 130 dead and hundreds more injured. As officers closed in, a woman detonated the bomb concealed in her suicide vest, fatally blowing herself up. One other suspect was killed in the raid and seven others were arrested. The “female suicide bomber” grabbed international headlines, perhaps due to the shocking idea of a woman blowing herself up for an extremist agenda. But The Guardian points out that extremists’ deployment of female suicide has been going on for decades. Secular, leftist groups made use of female suicide bombers in Lebanon in the 1980s. During the following decade, a female suicide bomber assassinated India’s prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi. And separatists groups deployed them on numerous occasions in Sri Lanka. After the turn of the century, Chechen rebels took to using “black widows,” who were often the wives of men who had died at the hands of Russian forces, to carry out terror strikes. Women were used as suicide bombers in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. And the list goes on, including militants like the notorious Boko Haram.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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