She embraced Islam, came to Pakistan, only to be killed by Taliban

برطانوی شہری

Belinda Khan, 44, originally from Cardiff UK, was one of eight people killed when car bomb exploded in volatile Swat Valley

Here is the story of a British woman (Amina Khan, previously Belinda Gardinal) who embraced Islam two years ago, got married to a Pakistani man. Her husband was killed by Taliban in Swat in 2008. On 8 February 2010, the lady travelled to Pakistan and got married to the brother of her late husband. Two weeks later she was killed in a suicide attack by the Taliban in Mingroa, Swat.

The Foreign Office (UK) today named a British woman who was among eight people killed by a suicide bomber at a busy market in Swat Valley, north-west Pakistan, yesterday. Officials confirmed that 44-year-old Belinda Khan, from Cardiff, had died in the blast. Belinda Khan was shopping at the market at the time of the blast, having only travelled to Pakistan earlier this month to get married.

Pakistani soldiers rush from the site after a suicide car bomb blast in Mingora on February 22, 2010. A suicide car bomber hit a military convoy killing nine people, including children, in Pakistan's Swat district on February 22, just months after the army claimed to have quelled a Taliban uprising.

Her Pakistani husband, Saeed Khan, said she had been in a car when the bomb exploded. He rushed to the scene and said she was silent, but still conscious.

“She looked at me and we just saw each other for three or four seconds,” Khan told the Guardian.

There was a second blast when a gas canister in the car exploded. Khan pulled his wife from the vehicle and took her to Saidu Sharif hospital, where doctors failed to revive her.

Conversion to Islam and first marriage

Belinda Khan converted to Islam in 2005 when she married Yahya Khan, who was working in a pizza restaurant in Cardiff.

First husband killed by Taliban

Yahya was killed with three others during a Taliban raid in 2008. Belinda, who was also known by her Muslim name, Aama, was in the UK at the time.

Second marriage

She later married Yahya’s brother Saeed. The two hoped to have their wedding in the UK, but Saeed was refused a visa. She flew to Pakistan on 8 February and married Saeed the following day.

“She came to have a second life with me. My family and I are missing her very much,” he said.


She was buried in a cemetery yesterday, close to the family home in the village of Kuza Bandai. The ceremony took place after the permission of Belinda’s brother, who lives in Cardiff. Her grave was decorated in flowers, tinsel and messages of sympathy. One read: “We are proud of Belinda”.

The attack, in the district capital of Mingora, was the latest violence to hit the volatile border region with Afghanistan, where the Pakistani military has been conducting operations against Taliban militants. It happened at a junction surrounded by small shops and stalls as at least two vehicles carrying security forces passed by, officials and witnesses said.

TV footage showed the blast ripped out shopfronts and blown out car windows. Several cars were gutted, and a fire engine rushed to extinguish a blaze ignited by the explosion.

“It was a suicide attack. Its target was security forces,” Major Mishtaq Khan, the army spokesman in Swat, said. He said two soldiers were among the 37 people injured.

Lal Noor, the head of the Saidu Sharif hospital, said the bodies of eight people killed in the explosion had been brought to the hospital.

The Swat police chief, Muhammad Idrees, said items found at the scene, including parts of a mobile phone and a watch, were believed to have belonged to the suicide bomber.

Source: Guardian



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