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World Taliban resume some flights, press assault on final holdout

18:10  05 september  2021
18:10  05 september  2021 Source:   msn.com

The Taliban have declared victory. Now they must reckon with a country freefalling into chaos

  The Taliban have declared victory. Now they must reckon with a country freefalling into chaos The last American military flight left the airport and disappeared into the Kabul sky on Monday -- and minutes later, the Taliban flooded the streets around the city's last exit point, filling the night with celebratory gunfire. © Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock Taliban militants spilled onto the streets outside Kabul airport after the final Western military flight left on Monday. It was a decisive and humbling final chapter to the United States' longest war, a two-decade effort that unraveled spectacularly in the space of a few weeks.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's Taliban rulers resumed some domestic passenger flights to and from Kabul on Sunday, as the religious militia's fighters stepped up an assault on the last remaining pocket of resistance being led by fighters opposed to their rule.

Pilots of Ariana Afghan Airlines walk on the tarmac after landing at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021. Some domestic flights have resumed at Kabul's airport, with the state-run Ariana Afghan Airlines operating flights to three provinces. (AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon) © Provided by Associated Press Pilots of Ariana Afghan Airlines walk on the tarmac after landing at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021. Some domestic flights have resumed at Kabul's airport, with the state-run Ariana Afghan Airlines operating flights to three provinces. (AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon)

The anti-Taliban fighters in Panjshir province, north of the Afghan capital, are being led by former vice president Amrullah Saleh, who has appealed for humanitarian aid to help the thousands of people displaced by the fighting.

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A senior Taliban spokesman tweeted Sunday that Taliban troops had overrun Rokha district, one of largest of eight districts in Panjshir. Several Taliban delegations have attempted negotiations with the holdouts there, but talks have failed to gain traction.

Saleh fled to Panjshir after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani quit Afghanistan as the Taliban marched on the capital. The fighters' lightning blitz across the country took less than a week to overrun some 300,000 government troops, most of whom surrendered or fled.

Since the takeover, the Taliban have sought to recast the group as a different from its 1990s incarnation, when they last ruled the country and enforced strict controls across society. Women and girls were denied work and education, men were forced to grow beards, and television and music were banned.

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  Al Qaeda, ISIS-K, and a trio of has-beens: The players in Taliban-led Afghanistan Just over a week ago, the U.S.-backed Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was overthrown as the Taliban swept through Afghanistan and seized the capital with the aim of establishing the so-called “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan."As thousands of Americans and Afghan allies remain behind Taliban lines in Afghanistan as the U.S. evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport continues, multiple players in the country, including Taliban allies such as the Haqqani Network and al Qaeda, have strengthened their hand while anti-Taliban warlords have fled the country and anti-Taliban resistance fighters engage in a desperate fight with the country's new rulers.

A Taliban soldier stands guard at the gate of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021. Some domestic flights have resumed at Kabul's airport, with the state-run Ariana Afghan Airlines operating flights to three provinces. (AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon) © Provided by Associated Press A Taliban soldier stands guard at the gate of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021. Some domestic flights have resumed at Kabul's airport, with the state-run Ariana Afghan Airlines operating flights to three provinces. (AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon)

Now, the world is waiting to see the face of the new government, and many Afghans remain skeptical. In the weeks since they took power, signals have been mixed: government employees including women have been asked to return to work, but some women were later ordered home by lower-ranking Taliban. Universities and schools have been ordered open, but fear has kept both students and teachers away.

A Taliban soldier patrols at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021. Some domestic flights have resumed at Kabul's airport, with the state-run Ariana Afghan Airlines operating flights to three provinces. (AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon) © Provided by Associated Press A Taliban soldier patrols at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021. Some domestic flights have resumed at Kabul's airport, with the state-run Ariana Afghan Airlines operating flights to three provinces. (AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon)

Women have demonstrated peacefully, some even having conversations about their rights with Taliban leaders. But some have been dispersed by Taliban special forces firing in the air.

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  Latest on Afghanistan: Biden says US 'on a pace' for Aug. 31 pullout; Taliban block Afghans from airport Biden added the deadline depends on Taliban cooperation, and added that he has asked the Depts. of State and Defense to prepare contingency plans.His remarks from the White House came the same day the Taliban said it would stop Afghans from trying to go to the Kabul airport and told women to stay home to stay for a time to stay safe, fueling worries about how the Taliban will treat women.

Kabul's streets are again clogged with traffic, as Taliban fighters patrol in pickup trucks and police vehicles — brandishing their automatic weapons and flying the Taliban's white flag.

Still, some signs of normalcy have returned: women are on the streets, schools have opened, and moneychangers work the street corners. Traffic police have returned to duty, and giant cement barriers sealing off upscale neighborhoods have been removed.

As Taliban leaders hold meetings and promise a government in the coming days, technical teams from Qatar and Turkey are working to get the civilian airport operational.

On Saturday, state-run Ariana Airlines made its first domestic flights, which continued on Sunday. The airport is without radar facilities, so flights are restricted to daylight hours to allow for visual landing, said Kabul station manager Shershah Stor.

A Taliban soldier stands guard at the gate of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021. Some domestic flights have resumed at Kabul's airport, with the state-run Ariana Afghan Airlines operating flights to three provinces. (AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon) © Provided by Associated Press A Taliban soldier stands guard at the gate of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021. Some domestic flights have resumed at Kabul's airport, with the state-run Ariana Afghan Airlines operating flights to three provinces. (AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon)

Several countries have also been bringing in humanitarian supplies. The Gulf state of Qatar, where the Taliban maintained a political office since 2013, is making daily flights into Kabul, delivering humanitarian aid for the war-weary nation. Bahrain also announced humanitarian assistance deliveries.

What Afghanistan’s Women Stand to Lose

  What Afghanistan’s Women Stand to Lose “All that I have worked for, all of my dreams, have become zero"When Taliban fighters encroached on the Afghan capital Sunday, Zainab, a reporter in her mid-20s, made a decision to leave the country. She had never been abroad, but it did not deter her. If anything, it propelled her forward.

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Associated Press Writers Rahim Faiez and Tameem Akhgar in Istanbul contributed to this report

Mullah's rise charts Taliban's long road back to power .
The Taliban's top political leader, who made a triumphal return to Afghanistan this week, battled the U.S. and its allies for decades but then signed a landmark peace agreement with the Trump administration. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is now expected to play a key role in negotiations between the Taliban and officials from the Afghan government that the militant group deposed in its blitz across the country. The Taliban say they seek an “inclusive, Islamic” government and claim they have become more moderate since they last held power.

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This is interesting!