By The Book: Taliban Fighters Play by Their Own Rules

In case a Taliban fighter wonders what is expected of him, he can now refer to a nine-page, blue and white, pocket-size pamphlet called the Layeha, which Mullah Mohammed Omar began distributing last month. The book (NEWSWEEK obtained a copy, and has seen Taliban fighters carrying it in several parts of Afghanistan) lays down 29 strictures for conduct on the battlefield and in villages, as well as sanctions faced by those who break the rules: strict Islamic justice.

CLASS DISMISSED Government teachers--seen as tools of the "puppet regime"--should be warned to stop teaching and beaten if they refuse. If "found to be teaching against Islam" they should be killed by the unit's commander.

VILLAGE CONDUCT Jihadis are forbidden to "disturb innocents," "raid houses," "take weapons from civilians" or "take people's money or personal property" (rules which seem to be frequently broken).

VICE Under anti-vice guidelines, smoking is banned, as is the practice of bringing "young boys without beards" to the combat zone or to a fighter's home.

RANSOMS Fighters cannot ransom prisoners without the agreement of a senior commander.

SPY JUSTICE Spies cannot be punished until judged by an Islamic court.