Taliban code of conduct seeks to win hearts, minds

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 3, 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 3, 2010 - 20:04

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