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Taliban Are Killing Clerics Who Dispute Holy War Call

The assassination, witnesses said, was trademark Taliban: two men on a motorbike, the passenger opening fire with a Kalashnikov rifle, the driver making a quick getaway. But the choice of victim signaled a new turn for the Taliban, the fundamentalist Islamic movement that was ousted from power and has been running a campaign of attacks against foreign and Afghan government troops in southern Afghanistan for months. This time, the assassinated person was Maulavi Abdul Manan, known as Maulavi Jenab, a member of the local district religious council, shot as he left his mosque last week. He was the third senior Muslim cleric killed by Taliban assassins here in the last 40 days. In addition, the head of Kandahar’s Ulema-u-Shura, or Clerics’ Council, Maulavi Abdul Fayaz, narrowly escaped death when a bomb exploded in his mosque as he was leading evening prayers on June 30. Twenty-seven people were wounded, 14 seriously, council members said. Full Story

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