Afghanistan's Taliban on Saturday demanded Pope Benedict XVI to apologise for remarks linking Islam with violence, adding the comment showed the Christian West was waging war against Muslims.
"We strongly condemn it," Mohammad Hanif, who regularly speaks to the media on behalf of the extremist insurgent group, said.
"We also want the Pope to apologise before the Muslim Umma (nation)," he said.
The remarks were "obviously part of a crusader war that the West, chiefly America and (President) Bush, is waging against Islam and Muslims," he said.
The ultra-conservative Taliban regime was toppled in a US-led invasion five years ago and the group is now waging a guerrilla-type insurgency against the government.