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Taliban orders commanders to disarm & arrest fighters for celebratory gunfire, says practice kills and maims civilians

Firing weapons in the air by militants during weddings and other celebrations leads to deaths and injuries and spreads fear among civilians, according to an instruction tweeted out by Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid on Sunday.

Military commanders in Kabul and other cities were told to immediately disarm and arrest anyone who fires in the air. Police chiefs and intelligence officials were instructed to identify and punish offenders.  

The new rule was apparently meant to address reports in Afghan media that several people were killed and sustained gunshot wounds after Taliban members fired celebratory gunshots into the sky over Kabul on Friday night. The fighters were reacting to news of a major victory against their opponents in the northeastern Panjshir Province, a stronghold of the anti-Taliban resistance.

Mujahid warned on Saturday against wasting ammunition and endangering civilians with celebratory gunfire.  

The Taliban, a hardline Islamist group, captured the majority of Afghanistan by August 15. The sweeping offensive ran concurrently with the final stage of the withdrawal of US troops, which was completed on August 30.

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