Home International Afghanistan war: Taliban back brutal rule as they strike for power By Secunder Kermani
International - August 11, 2021

Afghanistan war: Taliban back brutal rule as they strike for power By Secunder Kermani

Afghanistan war: Taliban back brutal rule as they strike for power By Secunder Kermani

Listen to this article

The Taliban fighters we meet are stationed just 30 minutes from one of Afghanistan’s largest cities, Mazar-i-Sharif.

The “ghanimat” or spoils of war they’re showing off include a Humvee, two pick-up vans and a host of powerful machine guns. Ainuddin, a stony-faced former madrassa (religious school) student who’s now a local military commander, stands at the centre of a heavily-armed crowd.

The insurgents have been capturing new territory on what seems like a daily basis as international troops have all but withdrawn. Caught in the middle is a terrified population.

Tens of thousands of ordinary Afghans have had to flee their homes – hundreds have been killed or injured in recent weeks.

I ask Ainuddin how he can justify the violence, given the pain it’s inflicting on the people he claims to be fighting on behalf of?

“It’s fighting, so people are dying,” he replies coolly, adding that the group is trying its best “not to harm civilians”.

We’re in Balkh, a town with ancient roots, thought to be the birthplace of one of Islam’s most famous mystic poets, Jalaluddin Rumi.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Who is Britain’s new finance minister, Kwasi Kwarteng?

Listen to this article Kwasi Kwarteng, a long-time ally and political soulmate of new high…