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Don`t kill civilians, warns Taliban chief

Last Updated: Friday, November 4, 2011 - 23:51

Kabul: Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar urged
his fighters to avoid civilian casualties amid a rising toll
of insurgent killing in a message released on the Taliban`s
website on Friday.

Omar was also quoted as saying he believed conflicts such
as the decade-long Afghan war were resolved by "realisation
and understanding," while again urging the immediate
withdrawal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan.

The United States and other nations fighting the war say
combat operations will not cease until the end of 2014, and a
substantial training and mentoring mission for Afghan forces
will remain after that.

"Do not wrongly pester and daunt anyone by the barrel of
the gun," the English language statement in Omar`s name said.
"The mujahedeen have to take every step to protect the lives
and wealth of ordinary people."

The statement, issued to mark Eid al-Adha or the Feast of
Sacrifice, warned of punishments under Islamic sharia law for
fighters responsible for civilian deaths.

The United Nations says the number of civilians killed in
the Afghanistan war in the first half of this year rose 15
percent to 1,462, with insurgents behind 80 percent.

The elusive, one-eyed Omar has not been seen in public
since 2001. In July, the Taliban accused the US of hacking
into their mobile phones to send a text message to journalists
claiming he was dead.

He was also quoted in the statement as saying that "the
resolution to all conflicts and tribulations resides in
realisation and understanding" without giving further details.


First Published: Friday, November 4, 2011 - 23:51
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