Afghan Taliban condemn Mohammed cartoons, hail Paris gunmen

Afghan Taliban condemn Mohammed cartoons, hail Paris gunmen
A man walks past a makeshift memorial for French policeman Ahmed Merabet near the site where he was shot dead by gunmen close to the headquarters of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo at the end of the unity rally "Marche Republicaine" on January 11, 2015 in Paris in tribute to the 17 victims of a three-day killing spree by homegrown Islamists.

KABUL - The Afghan Taliban on Thursday condemned the publication in France of further cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, and lauded last week's deadly Islamist attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine office in Paris.

A English statement from the group said they "strongly condemn this repugnant and inhumane action and consider its perpetrators, those who allowed it and its supporters (to be) the enemies of humanity".

It added the gunmen who killed the magazine staff on Jan 7 were "bringing the perpetrators of the obscene act to justice".

On Wednesday, French President Francois Hollande declared Charlie Hebdo was "alive and will live on" after its new edition sold out in record time, as Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack.

In the magazine's latest edition, the prophet was depicted with a tear in his eye, under the headline "All is forgiven", and holding a sign reading "Je suis Charlie" (I am Charlie).

The Taliban, which ran a hardline Islamic government in Afghanistan from 1996-2001, said world leaders should prevent such cartoons from being released.

They said publication must be stopped to prevent "further harming world peace", adding that to do otherwise would mean "the beliefs and sacrosanctity of over a billion people is desecrated and the world is pushed further into the fire of hatred and war".

A few hundred people demonstrated last week in the central Afghan province of Uruzgan, praising the gunmen and criticising President Ashraf Ghani's condemnation of the attack in Paris.

Previous insults to Islam have sparked violents protests in the ultra-conservative Muslim country.

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