Afghanistan

Football fanatics

The Sunday Mercury reports on the death of a football fan:

BRITISH soldiers claim a Taliban fighter killed in Afghanistan was found with an Aston Villa tattoo on his body.

The unnamed Muslim insurgent lost his life following clashes with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Forces.

Details of forensic investigations on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters are normally top secret.

But a British military source said that the terrorist had an Aston Villa tattoo – showing he could be from the West Midlands.

The claims follow news that RAF radio spies picked up Birmingham accents while listening in to Taliban ‘chatter’ over the airwaves.

The military source said: “It’s been well-known for some time among soldiers in Afghanistan that at least one Aston Villa fan was fighting for the Taliban.

“A body of one of the men was found to have an AVFC tattoo on it.

“We’ve known for a long time that foreign fighters, many with thick Birmingham accents, have been recruited to fight against us for the Taliban.

A soldier notes confusion as to why people raised in a democratic country would travel to another country to deny the right of Muslims to have the same rights:

Incredibly, brave British soldiers said they harboured no ill-feeling against British mercenaries recruited by the Taliban.

But they admitted that it was almost impossible to understand their motivation.

Bombardier Mark Leinster, of 40 Regiment Royal Artillery, who was injured during an operation that led to the death of a key Taliban leader earlier this month, said: “It’s baffling.

“Why would these people leave Britain, where you have all the freedoms of a democracy, to stop Afghan people having the same benefits that are enjoyed in the UK?

“I don’t think squaddies have any hatred for these people.

“But it’s definitely difficult to understand why they would do it.”

It is not surprising that that Villa fans are found in the ranks of the Taliban, but it is surely surprising that 8 years after 911 it takes a soldier in Afghanistan to state the central reason for our presence in Afghanistan so clearly compared to the politicians who sent them there. Even more surprising, and actually lamentable, even the individuals fighting the jihadists on our, and the Afghan people’s behalf, are not made aware of the ideology that motivates their opponents.

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