UK bishop apologises for his pro-Taliban statement

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London, Dec. 14 (ANI): The new Church of England bishop for the British armed forces has apologised for his earlier statement that the Taleban could be admired for their religious conviction and sense of loyalty.

The Right Rev Stephen Venner admitted that his comments in a newspaper interview appeared "incredibly insensitive," and he regretted the offence caused.

"If that has caused offence, I am deeply grieved by it because that's the very last thing that I would want to do," The Times quoted him, as saying.

Earlier, Bishop Venner had told the Daily Telegraph: "There's a large number of things that the Taleban say and stand for which none of us in the West could approve, but simply to say therefore that everything they do is bad is not helping the situation.

"The Taleban can perhaps be admired for their conviction to their faith and their sense of loyalty to each other," he added.

Bishop Venner came under fire for offering "comfort and succour to our enemies" with his remarks.

Bob Russell, Liberal Democrat member for the garrison town of Colchester in Essex, said: "Why did he not talk about the loyalty of our troops? The bishop would have been well advised to concentrate on boosting the morale of our Armed Forces rather than boosting the morale of our enemy." (ANI)

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