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Afghanistan war: What the Taliban is doing about its image problem

The Taliban is proposing a joint commission to investigate civilian casualties, revealing that the militants are increasingly concerned about their image in the Afghanistan war.

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Afghanistan war: An Afghan man rides his bicycle past the International Assistance Mission (IAM) in Kabul August 7. The Taliban is proposing a joint commission to investigate civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

Omar Sobhani/Reuters

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The Taliban is proposing a joint commission to investigate civilian casualties in Afghanistan. The move reveals that the militants are growing more concerned about their image in a war where the population’s loyalty is hotly contested.

The committee would include representatives from the Taliban, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the United Nations, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

“The stated committee should be given a free hand to survey the affected areas as well as people in order to collect precise information,” reads a statement posted Sunday on a Taliban website.

Human rights groups working in Afghanistan say that the Taliban’s offer should only be considered if they provide convincing security guarantees and accept international war laws. That would mean an end to the systematic killing of civilians, an unlikely change in behavior given the way the Taliban use assassinations to intimidate the population and stymie government.

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