Skip to comments.Senior Taliban official: Afghan freeze curtails operations of guerrillas (global cooling update?)
Posted on 02/20/2005 5:35:48 AM PST by Libloather
Afghan freeze curtails operations of guerrillas, senior Taliban official says
Sunday February 20, 6:19 PM
Taliban attacks on American and Afghan troops have eased only because of harsh winter weather and will intensify with the thaw, a senior rebel leader said Sunday, even as a group of former Taliban embraced a U.S.-backed reconciliation drive.
"Bad weather is the reason for the reduction in attacks. We will step up attacks as the weather changes," Mullah Obaidullah Akhund told The Associated Press. "The Taliban movement is active under the leadership of Mullah Mohammad Omar. And Taliban will fight till the last Talib is alive."
Obaidullah, a former Taliban defense minister regarded as an associate of the elusive Taliban supreme leader, spoke in a satellite phone call from an undisclosed location. It was not possible to independently verify his identity.
The U.S. military says that three years after the fall of the Taliban regime, the hardline militia's resistance is waning. The military says it is still conducting operations during the traditionally quieter winter months but has reported few contacts with insurgents as much of the country is immobilized by freezing temperatures and heavy snow.
The bad weather "has slowed us down some, but it hasn't stopped us carrying out security operations," said U.S. spokesman Maj. Steve Wollman. "Helicopters give us a great advantage to get over snow-covered roads."
U.S. and Afghan officials insist that many Taliban have signaled their readiness to make peace and join a planned reconciliation process. However, it remains unclear if figures with influence over those still fighting have come forward.
Abdul Hakim Mujahid, the former Taliban ambassador to the United Nations, told AP in Pakistan on Sunday that he had just returned from Kabul where they met with President Hamid Karzai.
Mujahid said his delegation represented Khudamul Furqan Jamiat, or "Association of the Servants of Quran," a group which had merged with the Taliban movement but already broke away again in December 2001.
He said he was accompanied by Arsala Rahmani, former deputy minister of higher education, Rahmatullah Wahidyar, former deputy minister of refugees, and Qazi Habibullah Fawzi, once the first secretary at the Afghan Embassy in Pakistan.
"We have influence in Afghanistan as we have worked in the governments of (former President) Burhanuddin Rabbani and Taliban," Mujahid said. "Now we want to work with this government."
Presidential spokesman Khaleeq Ahmed said there was "progress" in the reconciliation program but couldn't confirm Mujahid's account.
Obaidullah claimed no Taliban representatives had held talks "with invaders."
"We consider jihad is the only way to force them leave our country. We will fight with them. Dialogue is not a solution," he said.
In a separate phone interview, Mullah Hakim Latifi, a purported spokesman for the militia, said individual Taliban commanders may ally with the government, but insisted Mullah Omar and his key lieutenants would carry on the fight.
Dressed in bright orange coveralls, al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners wash before midday prayers at Camp X-Ray, where they are being held, at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.(AFP/Pool/File/J. Scott Applewhite)
I can't believe this Crap! Why can't they fight in winter? ALLAH will be mad at you terrorists for being WIMPS$&^#%!!! But we'll still come after your azzes and thaw them out for you terrorists with high caliber weaponry :D
Maybe they're worried that if they are martyrs when it is cold outside they'll get 72 frigid virgins as their reward.
Lol, Is that Gloria Gaynor I hear in the background singing "I Will Survive"?
No more fighting to the death I guess.
Nah, I like it better when they say they'll fight to the last man dies.
On the other hand, what in the world will be do with the last Talib. Put him on the protected endangered species list?
Thanks for Sharing the Pics of the Stealth! Very intimidating machine indeed. I would surrender real fast to our military if i were the bad guy! hahaha.