Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Taliban Threatens Canadians

More attacks like one on aid workers will happen unless Canada leaves Afghanistan, says letter from Taliban.

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- Canadians must convince their government to pull out of Afghanistan or face more attacks like the one that killed two Canadian aid workers last week just south of Kabul, the Taliban have said in an "open letter" addressed to "the Canadian people."
Shirley Case and Jacqueline Kirk of the New York-based International Rescue Committee were shot to death in a Taliban ambush in Logar province Wednesday, along with an American woman and their Afghan driver.
The Taliban said while they don't want to kill Canadians, they have no choice as long as Canada continues following the "American" agenda.
"Events such as Logar will happen again, because occupied Afghanistan looks at all actors that are established in the interest of America with an eye of hostility," said the letter dated Aug. 15 and sent on behalf of the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan."
"You have to convince your government to put an end to the occupation of Afghanistan so that the Afghans are not killed with your hands and so that you are not killed with the hands of the Afghans."
In the letter, the Taliban suggested Canada "sacrificed" its national and international self-respect by not following a "neutral agenda."
They also blame Canada for injuring and killing many Afghan men, women and children and suggest last week's attack was revenge.
But a spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the Taliban threat a 'propaganda exercise.'
"It's not surprising the Taliban are targeting aid workers, they're targeting their own civilians ... " said Kory Teneycke.
"This is a propaganda exercise. We're not going to respond to threats, and certainly it will have no effect on Canadian policy."
In an interview with The Canadian Press, Taliban spokesman Qari Muhammad Yussef affirmed the Taliban position that it does not wish to harm Canadians or be harmed by Canadians.
"Canadians are working under the policy of America. It is a big mistake," he said. "Don't sacrifice your politics for America."
In reality, Canada is among some 40 countries that are part of NATO's United Nations-mandated International Security Assistance Force.
While the United States is part of ISAF, it is also part of Operation Enduring Freedom, a parallel Afghan mission involving the U.S., Afghan forces and several other countries.

By: Toby for Canadian Press

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