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The manual directs that executions are not to be filmed, and enemy corpses should not be desecrated. Only those young men old enough to grow a beard are eligible to join the Taliban.

Afghans who repent for “previously harming Muslims” or who decide to join the Taliban are accorded amnesty and promised safety, the manual says.

Ashraf Haidari, a diplomat with the Afghanistan Embassy in Washington, said that he could not confirm the existence of the manual but that “avoiding civilian casualties and summary executions of any suspects is a positive development.”

“So far, we have seen the civilians bearing the brunt of the terrorist attacks,” Mr. Haidari said.

Anyone suspected of being a traitor or of working for the government was often arbitrarily executed by the Taliban, he said. “If they work for the government, it does not mean they are spies.

“Islam is all about peace and tolerance. Islam is against the killing of innocents,” he said.