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Taliban Police on Haircut Raid

November 5, 1997 GMT

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) _ The Taliban religious police have launched a hair-trimming drive, using long knives to shear the heads of dozens of men in the Afghan capital.

The Taliban Islamic rulers say shaggy hair goes against the teachings of Islam.

Standing amid a pile of hair at a checkpost in western Kabul, a religious police official said Tuesday that his unit had sheared the heads of more than 60 men.

``During prayers their hair could fall over their faces, and this is not Islamic,″ said Abdul Rahim Barkhwasey.

Members of his unit pulled men off buses and bicycles and forced them to submit to full or partial haircuts.

The Taliban, who now control 90 percent of Afghanistan, have banned women from the workplace, shut girls’ schools and forced men to grow beards and pray at mosques.