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Iraqi Police
Female Police Recruits in Kirkuk
A plan to deal with the growing number of female suicide bombers
09/01/2008 8:27 PM ET
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In late August, the police training center in Kirkuk started training women recruits. The Ministry of the Interior's acceptance was needed for the plan to recruit 100 female new members in the city’s police force, and was granted after a request by the training center itself. According to an article in al-Malaf Press in Arabic, the number of recruits is growing.
Female suicide bombers are an ever-increasing phenomenon on Iraq. Due to cultural taboos concerning male guards searching female Iraqis, women are frequently less thoroughly searched than men. Groups like al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia have taken advantage of this weakness, and have stepped up their use of female bombers in past months, particularly in Anbar province. On July 28, a female suicide bomber struck a crowd of political protesters in Kirkuk, killing 24 and wounding at least 187.
Al-Malaf quotes the head of Kirkuk police's training center, Commandant Kawah Gharib, as saying “59 of 100 women have been enrolled, and they are undergoing special training.” This is up from the 37 who were reported as having been recruited as of August 18 by a story in the American Forces Press Service, which featured American female soldiers doing some of the training.
In al-Malaf, Commandant Gharib asserted that the duties of the female recruits “will be limited to frisking in locations protected by the Internal Security Forces and to administrative work only". Despite the limited scope of their eventual duties, they must complete all the same training as their male counterparts.
One female trainee said, in the story, that her volunteering to the police comes from her sense of responsibility towards the city. Another reason, she says, is to assist her brother (also in the police force) in protecting Kirkuk against terrorism and maintaining security and stability.
See the American Forces Press Service article here.

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