Afghanistan: Armed Taliban fighters surround presenter during TV interview
A TV presenter was surrounded by Taliban fighters carrying AK-47s while he conducted an interview with one of the group’s commanders.
A video shows Mirwais Haidari Haqdoost from Afghanistan TV sitting at a desk, with a row of Taliban soldiers behind him holding their guns close to their chests and pointing towards the floor.
He was interviewing one of the group’s commanders, Qari Samiullah, for the channel’s special programme “Pardaz” at the time.
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Starting off the segment by introducing Mr Samiullah, the presenter goes on to explain that there has been “some criticism that there is a difference between the words and the actions of the Taliban“.
“The people demand that the commitments and actions of the Taliban must be the same,” he adds.
Mr Samiullah used the interview to urge Afghans “not to worry at all” and asked them to remain in the country.
“God willing, we will try to establish a safe atmosphere in all the provinces of Afghanistan so that the people do not worry and do not fear the Mujahideen, because they are our brothers,” he said.
“Together with them, we will build the homeland.”
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The Taliban, who carried out public executions and banned girls and women from school or work when last in power 20 years ago, have said they will safeguard rights and not pursue vendettas.
The group has previously said the country will be at peace for the first time in more than 40 years, following the withdrawal of American troops.
The final US soldiers left Afghanistan on Tuesday after the last of its planes took off from Kabul airport.
All of its service members have now departed the country, bringing an end to a 20-year-long campaign that saw more than 2,400 Americans die as well as tens of thousands of Afghans.
Taliban fighters celebrated the last US troops leaving Afghanistan by firing guns into the air at the airport.
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