Three British Muslims killed while 'fighting for the Taliban'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Three British Muslims have been killed fighting alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan, the radical group Al-Muhajiroun revealed yesterday.

Aftab Manzoor, 25, and Afzal Munir, in his early 20s, from Luton, Bedfordshire, were killed in action, the London-based Islamic group said. It also named Yasir Khan, from Crawley, as having died, in US-led bombing raids on the Afghan capital of Kabul.

Fears of a racist backlash increased within the area's Muslim community of 20,000 people after pictures of Manzoor's home were published in a local newspaper.

Two unnamed American Muslims, who had also joined the Taliban, were said to have been killed when a missile hit a house where they were holding a meeting.

The Foreign Office could not confirm the British deaths as the Government has no diplomatic contact with the Taliban, a spokesman said.

Unconfirmed reports continued to circulate last night that a fourth British man, Mohammad Umar, had also died. Hasan Butt, leader of the Al-Muhajiroun in Lahore, Pakistan, said: "We have learned from our contacts that [the men] were martyred by the American bombing on Wednesday."

Anti-racist groups in Luton are worried about the growing numbers of British Muslims they say are supporting the Taliban. Akbar Khan, who runs the Building Bridges group in Luton, said: "There's a lot of unhappiness among Muslims here and the rest of the country about the attitude of the West."