Monday, September 21, 2009
'No more beheadings'
By Rupert Hamer, Mirror
The leader of the Taliban has banned beheadings and torture in a sick "code of conduct" designed to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.
The cynical ploy comes after local commanders enjoyed orgies of violence - filming executions, kidnapping civilians and mutilating prisoners.
Now evil Taliban chief Mullah Omar has ordered them to end the brutality which is pushing local people towards supporting Nato troops.
The code - captured by British soldiers after a recent battle in Sangin - has been seen by the Sunday Mirror.
British and American intelligence experts say it suggests the Taliban might be starting to unravel and are trying to keep fighters disciplined.
The code also reveals the Taliban is trying to appear less savage in a battle to win over moderate Afghans. In 10 months last year rebels beheaded 100 people - mostly in Helmand where 9,000 British troops are serving.
Under the code - the first Omar, a close ally of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, has issued since 2006 - insurgents are banned from executing prisoners by beheading. They must be shot and fighters must not film executions.
Commanders are also ordered not to mutilate or torture people. The code says: "Cutting noses, lips and ears off people is completely prohibited."
They are forbidden from using children or teenagers "that have no beards" for battle - including suicide attacks. And Taliban fighters are barred from hoarding "war booty" for themselves. They must divide it equally ensuring "the poor" get a share.
In a personal note, Omar warns commanders: "Keep good relations with your friends and the local people and do not let the enemy divide you." He adds: "This is our mission - to keep people and their property safe. Do not let those people that love money take our people's property."
The intelligence report on the code - marked "For official use only" - says: "The Taliban's 'central treasury' has been drained numerous times due to false claims from Taliban commanders requesting payment for attacks they did not commit or to 'replace' war equipment under false pretences.