NEWS ABOUT TALIBAN
Disgusted by the insurgency’s relentless brutality, more than 1,000 fighters have walked away in recent months.Taliban fighters surrender.
At a dark, unheated village Madrassa near Peshawar, Pakistan, Mullah Yahya spends his days studying the Quran and begging God’s forgiveness for the horrors in which he once took part. Until a few months ago, he belonged to a Taliban unit operating in and around the Afghan town of Marja, led by a commander whose ruthlessness had earned him the nickname “Saddam.” But late last summer, Yahya finally quit the Taliban, together with a dozen other fighters and even Saddam himself. The commander and some of his men joined a U.S.-backed militia in the Marja area—where Saddam was killed by a Taliban IED just a few weeks ago. Yahya and others abandoned the war altogether. “I’d like to delete my past from my memory,” says the black-bearded 28-year-old, huddled in two coats against the madrassa’s indoor chill, to a visiting a news reporter. “I’m worried about how Allah will treat me for what I have done.”