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Warning, Apology from Failed Pakistani Suicide Bomber

A wounded suicide bomber whose explosive vest partially detonated waits to be taken to a hospital after a suicide bombing at a shrine near Dera Ghazi Khan in Pakistan, April 3, 2011

A 14-year-old boy sent to carry out a suicide attack on a Pakistani shrine is warning there are hundreds more like him.

Police arrested the boy Sunday after he failed to detonate his bomb-laden vest outside the Sakhi Sarwar shrine in the Dera Ghazi Khan district of Punjab province.

Identifying himself as Omar, he spoke to Pakistani television stations from his hospital bed Friday. He told journalists he was one of more than 350 boys undergoing training in an area close to the Afghan border.

Omar also apologized for taking part in the deadly attack on the Sufi Shrine.

The blasts killed 41 people and wounded more than 70 others. Omar said he was part of the second wave of attack, meant to kill emergency responders and others at the scene.

He told the television stations he had been recruited by a man called Qari Zafar, who told him and other students they would go to Afghanistan to kill non-Muslims.

Omar said that when they got to Dera Ghazi Khan he told his handlers there were no non-Muslims there but that his handlers told him the people there were worse than non-believers.

The 14-year old also pleaded with other children training for suicide missions not to carry out attacks, saying such actions are forbidden by Islam.

Sunday's attack on the Sakhi Sarwar shrine was the deadliest bombing in Pakistan so far this year. It came as thousands of people were gathering for a religious ceremony.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility.

Islamist militants routinely target Pakistan's religious minorities. In the case of Sufis, hardline Sunni Muslim groups believe their visiting of shrines amounts to blasphemy against Islam.

An attack on a Sufi shrine in the eastern city of Lahore last year killed more than 40 people.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.