Newswatch | Newswatch

You are here

Journalist's video gives rare look at war behind Taliban enemy lines

Celebration: Taliban fighters perform a high five after the man in the centre who is operating a heavy machine gun claims he has hit an American vehicle.

A Norwegian journalist has been granted unprecedented access to the Taliban army for the first time. The journalist, Norwegian Paul Refsdal, says Taliban leader Commander Dawran granted him the access and allowed him to film the enemy soldiers while they attacked a US convoy.

The Taliban leader also allowed Refsdal to film him with his two children. The children were later allegedly killed in a US raid on the camp. The documentary, Behind Enemy Lines, was broadcast on Australian news programme SBS Dateline.

Executive Producer Peter Charley wrote on the Dateline blog, "There are always two sides to every story – as any reporter covering a conflict knows. But some conflicts – like the war in Afghanistan - make it simply too dangerous to get ‘the other side’ of the story: the point of view of the enemy.

"Our remarkable story on the Afghan war through the eyes of the Taliban gives an all-too-rare glimpse into ‘the other side’ of that gruelling conflict. It was shot by (Norwegian-born Paul) Refsdal who reached the Taliban through mujahideen contacts from his days covering Afghanistan’s conflict with Russia in the 1980s.

"It was a highly-risky – some might say death-defying – assignment which has given us all an extraordinary insight into the daily lives of Taliban insurgents. Who could not be moved by the tender images of innocent children playing in the arms of their father? But how are we to feel once we see that same man command his fighters to “shoot the brains out” of foreign troops, or to celebrate the death of US soldiers after an ambush on a passing convoy?"

Date posted: September 1, 2010 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 194