Afghanistan drops off the world wide web

Afghanistan slammed its doors in the face of the international community yesterday as the ruling Taliban officially banned use of the Internet.

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By  Rob Corder Published  August 26, 2001

Afghanistan slammed its doors in the face of the international community yesterday as the ruling Taliban officially banned use of the Internet.

Taliban leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, announced on state radio that the religious police could punish anybody ignoring the new decree.

The Taliban’s new line comes on top of an existing ban on television in Afghanistan.

The ruling Taliban, which has controlled Afghanistan since 1996, has brought control and order to the previously war-torn country by applying strict Shariah law. The organisation hoped to win international recognition for its tough stand against corruption and crime, particularly for measures like the outlawing of opium cultivation.

More recently, however, the Taliban has attracted international condemnation; first for its demolition of two ancient stone Buddhas carved into the cliffs above the central town of Bamiyan and more recently for the detainment of aid workers who are accused of preaching Christianity in the country. Osama bin Laden, who tops the United States FBI’s most wanted list, is also still believed to be residing in Afghanistan as a guest of the Taliban.

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