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Sunday, 21 October, 2001, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Taleban radio warns of US 'poison' rations
Taleban radio has hit back at the propaganda broadcasts which the US has been beaming at Afghanistan.

It also warned Muslims not to eat food rations being air-dropped by the US military.

"The people of Afghanistan are aware of the ruses and tricks of enemies and criminals and our people cannot be deceived by them," Voice of Shariah radio said.

The radio, which broadcasts from the northern town of Mazar-e-Sharif, is still on air, although broadcasts from the capital Kabul have not been heard since 8 October.

The US broadcasts are as much of an "insult" as the food aid being dropped on the country, the radio said.

Poison

"Our people are developing a bitter hatred towards the US food packages and the propaganda which is spread through its radios. Their propaganda can never undermine the morale of Afghanistan's people."


There is a strong possiblity these foods are contaminated

Taleban radio

As for the food, the radio said it comes from unclean hands and thus cannot be eaten. By dropping it, the US betrays its "contempt" for ordinary people.

"The honourable, religious and noble people of Afghanistan understand that eating food from those whose hands are covered with the blood of our innocent people during a holy war is unlawful."

In any case, the broadcast went on, "there is a strong possibility that these foods are contaminated with poison".

"The USA wants to hurt the national pride of the Afghan people and insult them... As if they were saying on the one hand we kill you by bombs and rockets while on the other we feed you. The people will never accept this insult."

Two-faced

The Taleban press has been as defiant as the radio. The latest edition of the Herat weekly Etefaq-e Islam mocked the "two-faced policies" and "double standards" which mix bombs with pledges of reconstruction and aid.

"The United States and Britain have inflicted a blow at the economic body of Afghanistan," the paper said. Yet the attacks were accompanied by "slogans that not only help would be given to Afghanistan, but the country would be rebuilt".

Our people are patiently waiting for revenge

Taleban weekly

The destruction and loss of life have "exposed the gap between the words and actions of the American and British militarists".

"Our people have clearly seen and experienced the kindness and humanitarian pledges of the bosses of the United States and the arrogant faces of the palace dwellers in Kremlin. Our people are impatiently waiting for the day to take revenge," the paper said.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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