Taliban fighters told to stop celebratory gunfire as falling bullets keep killing people

5 September 2021, 13:56 | Updated: 5 September 2021, 14:00

Taliban fighters have been told not to fire their guns in the air in victory
Taliban fighters have been told not to fire their guns in the air in victory. Picture: Alamy
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Taliban fighters have been warned not to fire their guns in the air in celebration as falling bullets keep "causing martyrdom, injury and fear".

Anyone who ignores the new guidance will be disarmed, arrested and possibly thrown out of cities, according to the official Twitter account of the spokesman of the so-called Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Zabihullah Mujahid.

In a post titled "Leadership Guidelines on Aerial Shooting in Kabul and Other Cities", Mr Mujahid acknowledges that Taliban fighters in the Mujahideen regularly carry out aerial shootings "in Kabul and other cities on the occasion of weddings and celebrations".

However, he says that by doing so, the act can often lead to "martyrdom, injury and fear" among civilians.

Read more: Taliban fire gunshots into night sky to celebrate final US withdrawal

Read more: UK in talks with Taliban to secure safe passage for Brits and refugees

Taliban celebrate full control of Kabul with gunfire

The new advice gives military officials, brigade leaders and "other concerned persons" in Kabul and the rest of Afghanistan's provinces the power to "immediately arrest and disarm those persons" who continue to carry out the celebration.

It adds: "Pull them out of the cities too."

The guidance says: "Kabul and provincial police chiefs and intelligence officials are specifically instructed to take immediate and decisive action to identify and punish these individuals."

Read more: Taliban holds mock UK and US funeral after troops withdraw from country

Read more: Taliban 'angry' after US disabled military equipment before leaving Kabul

It comes amid reports that celebratory gunfire in Afghanistan has led to a number of deaths.

News agencies said at least 17 people were killed and 41 hurt on Friday after fighters celebrated a reported victory in the Panjshir Valley - the last stronghold of the country not to fall to the Islamist militants.

In response, Mr Mujahid said: "Avoid firing in the air and thank God instead.

Caller says threat from Taliban is media hype

"The weapons and bullets given to you are public property. No one has the right to waste them. The bullets can also harm civilians, don’t shoot in vain."

Elsewhere, an official at the capital's Emergency Hospital said two people were killed and 12 others wounded, also on Friday, after Taliban fighters fired their rifles into the air in celebration.

The individual spoke anonymously as he was not authorised to brief the media.