Taliban Arabs Plead for Children as they Prepare to Die in Battle
Arab militants fighting with the Taliban regime have begun preparing to die in battle with the United States by asking Afghans to take care of their children once they are gone.
Arab fighters, some of whom came to Afghanistan to join Osama bin Laden's jihad, or holy war, against the West, have been giving speeches in mosques in southern Afghanistan appealing to Afghans not to let their orphans be taken away by Pakistan or the United States.
The speeches by some of the fighters who have raised families in Afghanistan were reported by the Baluchistan Times.
"We have decided to die here fighting against the United States and other infidels," it quoted one of the militants as saying in a speech in a crowded mosque in Kandahar, the southern Taliban stronghold that has been under heavy attack by US-led forces for the last 12 days.
There are believed to be several thousand Arab fighters in Afghanistan.
Although most come from the Arab world, the term "Arab" in the Afghan context also encompasses Muslim militants from other parts of the world.
The foreign legion of fighters has provided the Taliban with invaluable military support and exercises a significant influence over the militia's leadership, according to Afghan experts.
Authorities in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan, the Pakistani province which neighbours southern Afghanistan, are growing increasingly concerned about the prospect of Taliban fighters, including the Arabs, crossing the border.
Sources told AFP they have issued orders to border guards to arrest any Arabs attempting to enter Pakistan.
"We have received a letter from the interior ministry directing us to begin a crackdown on Arab fighters who may cross into Pakistan," a local government source told AFP.
He said it was understood Islamabad had been urged by the US to orchestrate the crackdown amid fears alleged terrorists and members of bin Laden's al-Qaeda network could escape -- Pakistan, (AFP)
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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