The Taliban religious army has ordered all pictures of people and animals destroyed, declaring them offensive to Islam, authorities said Monday.
Until now the Taliban had forbidden the photographing of people but did not outlaw pictures of non-Muslims. This also was the first time the Taliban edicts on photography included animals.Few Afghans have cameras or pictures of their ancestors.
According to a government statement, it now is illegal to display pictures of either people or animals. While few stores in Kabul carried such pictures since the Taliban's takeover one year ago, fitness centers have displayed pictures of bodybuilders.
It wasn't immediately known what the punishment would be, but minor offenses usually carry a beating.
Last month, Taliban soldiers detained a group of foreign journalists, including a CNN film crew, for three hours after some in the group filmed at a women's hospital in Kabul. The journalists said the Taliban invited them to visit the hospital and they were allowed to film freely at earlier stops.
The Taliban, who now control two-thirds of Afghanistan, have banned women from the workplace, shut girls' schools and forced men to grow beards and pray at mosques.