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SPIN BOLDAK, Afghanistan (AFP) - Saifullah was tired of his exhausting job as a blacksmith in a Pakistani village when a friend suggested he join the jihad, or holy war, against US troops in Afghanistan.
The 20-year-old, who shared a simple mud-brick house with his father, mother and a brother, told AFP he wasn't sure whether to accept the call to fight in the country of his forefathers or to continue with his hammer and anvil.
"If you kill one American soldier, then you can keep his money, his gun, boots and clothes," he recalled his friend saying.
"And if I die?" Saifullah said he asked of the young man, himself a recruit of Taliban commander Mullah Samad who is said to be close to the fugitive leader of the ousted extremist Taliban regime, Mullah Omar.
"If you die, you will get seven virgin 'houris' in paradise," the man said, referring to the virgin angels the Muslim holy book, the Koran, says awaits good Muslims, especially martyrs, when they die.