Afghan group threatens attacks on US soldiers


A new coalition has been established in Afghanistan with the aim of launching suicide attacks on American troops.

The new alliance is called Lashkar Fedayan-e-Islami, or the Islamic Martyrs Brigade, and is based in eastern Afghanistan.

It is made up men led by several former high Taliban officials and fighters loyal to former Afghan Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

One of Hekmatyar's military commanders, Salauddin Safi, says there "will be suicide attacks, ambushes by suicide attackers and bomb blasts against soldiers as they are moving from place to place."

Hekmatyar's force was one of the US-aided guerrilla armies that fought the Soviets in the 1980s.

He fled to Iran in 1996 after his group was defeated by the Taliban, but he has recently been seeking to incite a "holy war" against American forces in Afghanistan.

Hekmatyar has been circulating clandestine newsletters and audiotapes calling for jihad against American forces, and Safi brought out a new message.

The letter in the Pashtu language announced the formation of the Martyrs Brigade and warned Afghans living near US military bases to "leave immediately lest you face any problem because we are going to start our struggle very soon against them".