Elusive Taliban leader Mullah Omar has issued a "code of conduct" to his militant colleagues asking them to avoid "unnecessary" suicide bombings and civilian casualties while waging war against "the oppressors", which was described as "sham" and propaganda exercise by NATO.
The 13-chapter guide, recovered by NATO forces in raids in Afghanistan, gives tips to militants on how to be a "good holy warrior" and asks to avoid civilian casualties, the Daily Telegraph reported.
It discloses concern about how attacks are regarded by the civilian population, including minority groups, and its need to be seen as a disciplined force, motivated by Islamic principle rather than personal greed or malice.
The booklet also asks Taliban fighters not to harm Afghans working for the government and to avoid civilian casualties, the newspaper reported.
"The Mujahideen have to behave well and show proper treatment to the nation, in order to bring the hearts of civilian Muslims closer to them," it said.
NATO commanders denounced the "code" as a propaganda exercise aimed at persuading Afghan civilians that the Taliban was a disciplined force that followed the rules of war.
"It seems to be a form of propaganda to try to show there is a central control over the insurrection," said Brig Gen Eric Tremblay, a NATO spokesman.