Taliban code of conduct seeks to win hearts, minds
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 03, 2010, 20:04
Spin Boldak (Afghanistan): An updated Taliban code of conduct urges fighters to avoid killing civilians and forbids them from seizing weapons and money, a directive aimed at winning hearts and minds of Afghans also being courted by international forces.

But the document declares that people working for international forces or the Afghan government are "supporters of the infidels" and can be killed. Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar took a similar hard line in orders to insurgents that NATO forces said they intercepted in early June.

Mullah Omar urged fighters to kill anyone working with international forces or the Afghan government, including women, according to NATO.

The Taliban began distributing their new code of conduct in southern Afghanistan a little over a week ago, shortly before the top NATO commander in the country, Gen David Petraeus, issued guidelines that also urged soldiers to avoid civilian casualties.

"The Taliban must treat civilians according to Islamic norms and morality to win over the hearts and minds of the people," said the 69-page Taliban booklet, which was obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday from a Taliban fighter in the Afghan border town of Spin Boldak.

"All efforts must be made to avoid harming civilians in attacks," said the booklet, which the insurgent said began circulating in Afghanistan 10 days ago. He spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being targeted.


First Published: Tuesday, August 03, 2010, 20:04

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