Taliban militants broke into shops in eastern Pakistan and set fire to fabric for women’s clothing that they said was un-Islamic because it did not properly cover the body, RFE/RL’s Radio Mashaal reports.
They also warned locals against other actions that they deemed heretical.
Residents in the town of Wana, the capital of Pakistan’s South Waziristan district, told RFE/RL that dozens of Taliban men took part in the raid of the local bazaar on July 27.
They confiscated “objectionable” pieces, piled them in the center of the market, and set them alight.
The witnesses asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution by the Taliban or their sympathizers.
Local journalist Hafeezullah Wazir told Radio Mashaal that shopkeepers later closed their shops to protest the heavy-handed raids and argued with the Taliban militants.
Wazir said the men “confiscated and burned thousands of meters of pieces of clothing.”
They also reportedly warned shop owners against selling clothes that are “too transparent or don’t cover a man’s or woman’s body.”
Wazir said the marauders also imposed a ban on the use of mobile phones with cameras because they claimed such devices were used to watch pornographic photos and videos.
Radio Mashaal tried to talk to the shop owners whose wares had been destroyed, but they were afraid to allow their voices to be recorded.
Pakistan’s army conducted an operation against Taliban insurgents in South Waziristan in October 2009. It said afterward that the Taliban had been expelled and the area was free of militants.