Taliban kills 220 civilians in July despite new “code of conduct”

August 4th, 2010 - 10:52 pm ICT by BNO News  

Afghanistan Violence KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (BNO NEWS) — Mullah Omar, the Taliban’s spiritual leader, recently released a revised code of conduct as an attempt to shape perceptions, but insurgent violence continues to harm innocent civilians, NATO said Wednesday.

In late July, this newest directive from Mullah Omar calls for insurgent fighters to avoid harming civilians. However, in just the few days since its release, insurgents have killed 43 Afghan civilians, including five children killed in Kandahar Monday morning, and wounded 65 .

While many of these casualties were victims of suicide bombs, others, including four killed and three wounded in Zabul province last week, have been killed by improvised explosive devices (IED), an indiscriminate killer commonly used by insurgents.

In Balkh Province, insurgents murdered a female teacher and forced the closing of schools, and in Nangahar Province, seven tribal leaders were injured when their vehicles were struck by an insurgent bomb as they travelled to a community event in the area as Taliban insurgents have been threatening villagers in Farah Province for reporting locations of IEDs to security forces.

“Mullah Omar’s new directive has done nothing to protect the Afghan people from further harm,” said Brigadier General Josef Blotz, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) spokesman.

“This is either a smokescreen to repair the Taliban’s well-earned reputation for brutality, or insurgent groups are simply ignoring their leader. In either event, the Afghan people will continue to suffer from oppression and indiscriminate violence until the insurgents are defeated.”

In the month of July alone, nearly 300 instances of insurgent acts of violence and oppression against innocent civilians were documented, killing 220 and injuring more than 360, including over 160 events of murder and injury.

In addition, insurgent activity has counted with more than 100 instances of oppression, anti-development and imposition of extremist ideology – illicit taxation such as usurping the role of religious leaders in collecting “Zigat” or religious tax, extortion, prohibiting girls from attending school, and destruction of construction projects designed to bring basic services to Afghan villages.

“Against the backdrop of the so-called Omar “code of conduct,” these continuing malign actions reveal the hypocrisy of the Taliban,” General Blotz said. “They also demonstrate the Taliban’s malicious, non-representative approach to governing.

“In stark contrast, President Karzai’s government is working to build the Afghan National Security Forces to protect the Afghan people, while expanding government services and individual rights.”

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