TALEBAN commanders have been bribed with cash from the international community to hold off violent attacks in the run up to Thursday’s Afghan elections, The Scotsman has learned.

Intelligence sources say the money was given to fighters in the hope it would form the basis of permanent peace talks with the Taleban. The news came as the head of the British Army warned that UK troops might remain engaged in operations in Afghanistan for another five years…

Intelligence sources claim the commanders have been paid off, but officials refused to say whether the money had come from a £135 million election fund, bankrolled by the international community.