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NATO chief is enemy of Islam, say Taliban

Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents say the incoming NATO chief is the “major enemy” of Muslims for defending the publication of cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammad when prime minister of Denmark.

world Updated: Apr 17, 2009 00:50 IST

Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents say the incoming NATO chief is the “major enemy” of Muslims for defending the publication of cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammad when prime minister of Denmark.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Danish premier until earlier this month, is due to become secretary general of NATO, which leads a 56,000-strong international force fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The publication of the cartoons in a Danish newspaper in 2006 led to riots across the Muslim world, including bloody protests in Afghanistan in which several people were killed. Rasmussen had defended the publication of the cartoons on the grounds of free speech and refused to apologise to Muslim countries.

In an article posted on the Taliban’s website, the insurgent group said Rasmussen’s appointment would “further strengthen the faith of the Muslims” to fight against NATO and would lead to “intensification of war” in Afghanistan.

The Taliban have made a comeback in recent years after being driven out of Kabul by U.S.-backed Afghan forces in 2001.