Leader of Taliban Mullah Mohammed Omar urges militants to spare civilians

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 18 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 18 August, 2012, 2:49am


Reclusive Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar has urged insurgent fighters, who he said had successfully infiltrated Afghan security forces, to avoid killing civilians after a swathe of suicide bombings this week killed 63 people.

In a message to the Afghan people ahead of the Eid ul-Fitr festival ending the holy Ramadan fasting month, the one-eyed leader said insurgents should "employ tactics that do not cause harm to life and property of the common countrymen.

"The instructions given to you for the protection of civilian losses are, on you, a religious obligation to observe," Mullah Omar said in a seven-page statement released late on Thursday and translated into five languages.

"Any violation readily incurs loss in this world and in the world to come. Therefore, I urge you emphatically to be careful about the civilian losses and take this on yourselves as an explicit responsibility."

Omar, who is thought to be sheltering in Pakistan despite government denials there, boasted that his rebels had successfully infiltrated Afghan security forces to mount rogue shootings of foreign troops that have killed 39 soldiers in 30 attacks this year.

A police militia member yesterday turned his guns on US military trainers in western Farah province, killing two before he was shot dead.

"Mujahideen have cleverly infiltrated the ranks of the enemy according to the plan given to them last year," Omar said. "They easily carry out decisive, co-ordinated attacks."

So called green-on-blue shootings have so far this year accounted for 13 per cent of foreign troop deaths, according to the Long War Journal website.

The coalition has said most were the result of stress or personal disagreements between Nato mentors and Afghans, rather than infiltration.

Omar, the spiritual leader of the Taliban, urged police, soldiers and government workers to "abandon support of the invaders" and back the Taliban ahead of the planned departure of most Western combat troops in 2014.