Taliban fighters have destroyed fields of opium poppies in easternAfghanistan this spring, the first time since 2001 the hardline Islamist group is known to have clamped down on the cultivation of a drug that provides a big part of its funding.
While the insurgents appear to have dug up a relatively small area of poppies in a remote area near the border with Pakistan, the move was so unusual it won a chorus of praise from the Afghan government and international organisations, whom the Taliban consider their enemy, as well as senior clerics.
"They just did what the constitution ordered," said Wasifullah Wasifi, a spokesman for the provincial governor in Kunar, where the eradication took place.
"The provincial governor really appreciates what the insurgents did. From the perspective of Islam it is forbidden and a crime to grow drugs," Wasifi said, adding that nearly a hectare had been destroyed by the Taliban in the province's Manawara district, in addition to a far larger amount eradicated by the government.
Read more @: Taliban destroy poppy fields in surprise clampdown on Afghan opium growers | World news | The Guardian
Whats up with this? Is the Taliban taking a new approach? Maybe trying to win over some hearts and minds from people within the Afghan gov? Or are they just trying to score some brownie points with some officials?