TONY EASTLEY: Most suicide bombers tend to be young men and hundreds of them have died for their cause in the last two decades.
Their motivation is not always clear.
But a schoolboy who took part in an attack on a shrine in Pakistan early this month narrowly survived and is now telling his side of the story.
He’s given a frank interview to the BBC.
AM’s Brendan Trembath reports.
BRENDAN TREMBATH: Fourteen-year-old Omar was found two weeks ago in the remains of a bombed Sufi shrine in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
He’d lost an arm and was bleeding from his stomach but he was no innocent. The Pakistani schoolboy was wearing part of a suicide vest.
OMAR (translation): That day I said my prayers, had my lunch, then went to the shrine. When I got there, I put on my suicide belt. The only thing I was thinking was to detonate myself.
It was a moment of happiness.
BRENDAN TREMBATH: He braced for the blast which hopefully would kill him quickly.
OMAR (translation): I thought there’d be a little bit of pain but then I’d be in heaven.
BRENDAN TREMBATH: But the bomb on Omar’s body failed to detonate properly. He’s told the BBC that he pulled a grenade from his pocket but police shot him in the arm.
Another bomber, a younger boy, managed to detonate his vest. Around 50 people were killed.
Omar has also told how he and the other schoolboy were recruited. The Taliban used to stop them as they were going to school. They would say there’s no point studying and nothing was better than paradise.
OMAR (translation): They prayed all the time and read the Quran so I thought they were good people. My heart told me to go and train with them.
BRENDAN TREMBATH: Omar says the Taliban told them they were going to Afghanistan to kill non believers but it wasn’t so.
OMAR (translation): When we got to the place I saw it was still Pakistan. They said the people who pray at shrines are even bigger infidels and I believed them.
BRENDAN TREMBATH: But as he lay on the ground in the bombed out shrine it dawned on him that he’d made a mistake.
OMAR (translation): We did a wrong thing by killing children and old men and women. I now realise suicide bombing is un-Islamic. I hope people will forgive me.
BRENDAN TREMBATH: He’s now alone and afraid.
He says none of his family members have contacted him since the attack and he fears the Taliban will hunt him down.