PESHAWAR, Pakistan: A Taliban group in Pakistan on Tuesday burned a huge quantity of cloth taken from shopkeepers, saying it was too thin to be made into suitably modest garments, officials said.
The Islamist extremists stormed shops in Wana, the main town of the lawless South Waziristan tribal region, which borders Afghanistan, and made a bonfire of the cloth in a public area near the bazaar.
Shopkeeper Rahimullah Khan told AFP that at least eight armed men burst into his premises and took away bundles of raw cloth that they said was too thin to make respectable clothing.
“They said it was un-Islamic to wear clothes that don't properly cover the human body,” Khan said.
A local official in Wana who declined to be named said the perpetrators were local Taliban, adding that shop owners calculated thousands of metres of material had been destroyed.
“The men confiscated big bundles of raw cloth which they declared was too thin to wear from dozens of shopkeepers in the main bazaar and burnt them,” he told AFP.
“They had warned shopkeepers almost a week ago to stop selling un-Islamic cloth. Today, the militants stormed the shops and confiscated the rolls.”
Taliban militants in Pakistan have often targeted shops selling music and films that they say break Islamic moral codes.
Pakistan's military launched a major offensive in South Warizistan, part of the federally-administered tribal area, in 2009 to tackle Taliban and al Qaeda linked groups.
Also in South Warizistan on Tuesday, one soldier was killed and another one injured when a remote-controlled bomb exploded by a road, the military said.
Pakistan's seven tribal districts bordering Afghanistan are rife with a homegrown insurgency.