New manual for Afghan troops: Don't kill people over cultural misunderstandings

It warns Afghan soldiers that their international allies may blow their noses in public or “show their excitement by patting one another on the back or the behind”, both taboos in Afghan culture.

The pamphlet, entitled “Cultural Understanding — A Guide to Understanding Coalition Cultures”, also cautions that Westerners may put their feet up desks without realising that showing the soles of feet is considered a serious insult in Islamic culture.

“They are by no means trying to offend you. They simply don’t know or have forgotten the Afghan custom,” according to a translation seen by the Post.