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tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 15, 2021 4:00pm-4:31pm BST

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this is bbc news — our top breaking story this hour for viewers watching in the uk and around the world: the rush to leave kabul as taliban fighters enter the capital of afghanistan. president ghani has fled the country. the taliban say they want to prevent looting in kabul. there are reports of shooting in several parts of the city. the militants have rolled through the entire country in a matter of weeks. in a bbc interview, a spokesman says women will be safe, if they wear the hijab. the policy is that women can have access to education and to work. and of course, they will observe the hijab, that is it. helicopters ferry us diplomats from their embassy, but the us secretary of state says the two decade long
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us military operation in afghanistan was a success. it is up to the afghans themselves, the afghan government, said of the taliban to decide the way forward from the country, including kabul. hello and welcome if you're watching the bbc in the uk or around the world. the taliban are on the verge of taking control of afghanistan — 20 years are being removed from power. reports suggest the militant group have ordered their fighters to enter the capital, kabul after local police deserted their posts. they have seized every other major city in afghanistan after a lightning advance that saw the us—equipped government army flee from their path. it's been confirmed in the last hour that the president, ashraf ghani,
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has left the country. these pictures filmed by the bbc in kabul show people attempting to leave the city. the taliban said they are in talks with senior officials in president ashraf ghani's government on a peaceful transfer of power. and in the last hour, these images have emerged of us embassy staff being helicoptered to kabul airport. it comes as the secretary of state antony blinken has insisted the situation is �*patently not saigon�* — in a reference to america's humiliating departure from vietnam in 1975. he argued us had succeded in its mission. speaking to nbc�*s meet the press programme a short time ago, the us secretary of state gave the latest on his government's position. we can do right by the people who stood with us in afghanistan all these years, including afghans who worked for the embassy, worked for our military. we have a massive effort under way to bring afghans
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at risk out of the country, if that's what they so desire. and ultimately it is up to the afghans themselves, it is up to the afghan government, the taliban, to decide the way forward for the country, including kabul. this story is moving at a fast pace, so let's just remind ourselves what else we know happenend today. the taliban closed in on kabul this morning after seizing the eastern city of jalalabad. afghanistan's acting interior minister said they want a peaceful transfer of power to a transitional government. the taliban has told the bbc they want to take power in the next few days, but will respect the rights of women. roads out of kabul have been packed with people fleeing the taliban. the taliban have captured more territory, including the former us airbase at bagram. the us has begun evacuating staff from their embassy in the capital. according to eyewitnesses, taliban militants met little resistance along the way to the capital.
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let's speak to our south asia correspondent, anbarasan ethirajan. about the fact that the taliban do now seem to be entering the capital city. now seem to be entering the capital ci . , ., , now seem to be entering the capital ci . , . , , city. yes, in the last few minutes, the taliban _ city. yes, in the last few minutes, the taliban spokesperson - city. yes, in the last few minutes, i the taliban spokesperson announced that some of their fighters have entered the city, not in a full force, but what they are saying is thatis force, but what they are saying is that is to prevent looting and arson and because there have been some reports of people trying to break into the shops and security forces had vacated some of the posts, so they are very clear that they are going to occupy those places where the security forces are not present, to bring the situation under control, to prevent any looting in the night and evening, so they are not saying we are going to completely take over but one never knows what will happen by this morning, because since we started going on air this morning, things have been changing dramatically, we have been changing dramatically, we have been changing dramatically, we have been talking about preventing
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kabul falling have been talking about preventing kabulfalling into have been talking about preventing kabul falling into the have been talking about preventing kabulfalling into the hands have been talking about preventing kabul falling into the hands of the taliban, now we're talking the countries but with the present, ashraf ghani has left the country, according to the news agencies there and also one of the senior government official —— officials. it has triggered a lot of media anger, one journalist has triggered a lot of media anger, onejournalist says has triggered a lot of media anger, one journalist says that ghani has ruined the people and left on his own. the fact that he managed to get away, despite all these hardships, confusion, fear, people not knowing who has come to take over, and that the president has left the country, that has really angered people. it that has really angered people. it is extraordinary, and even in the official confirmation, we saw that phrase that the people willjudge him for what he has done. yes. him for what he has done. yes, because many _ him for what he has done. yes, because many people - him for what he has done. yes, because many people blame i him for what he has done. 1a: because many people blame this government for the current situation and the way they hold government —— the way the whole government collapse in the last ten days, there
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has been shocking for many afghans because they thought it was a government, the structure of the government, the structure of the government had that had been put in place for the last 20 years, american and other western countries have been pumping in money to build a civil society, the government structure, ministry buildings, supreme court, various divisions, they thought they would hold together, but if you see what happened, in most parts of the country that have come under this rule, now that president ghani has left and we do not know whether anything is still under government control, and the second thing is that there was a big gap between provincial councils and the government in kabul, and these provincial council governors have been doing deals with the taliban and switching sides and the whole thing collapsed in the last 10—12 days, that has really shocked people. days, that has really shocked --eole. . ~' ,, days, that has really shocked --eole. . ~ ., , people. thank you for giving us the latest and some _ people. thank you for giving us the latest and some context _ people. thank you for giving us the latest and some context there, - people. thank you for giving us the l latest and some context there, thank you very much. i'm joined now by hamed, a blogger in kabul. we are keeping him anonymous
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for his own safety. tell us about what you can, about what your family has given for afghanistan.— what your family has given for afuhanistan. ., ~ i. ., afghanistan. thank you for reaching out... the ordinary _ afghanistan. thank you for reaching out... the ordinary citizens - afghanistan. thank you for reaching out. .. the ordinary citizens of- afghanistan. thank you for reaching out... the ordinary citizens of this l out... the ordinary citizens of this country who are going through the hard time in kabul so i personally, ourfamily gave a hard time in kabul so i personally, our family gave a big sacrifice, my brother is a special force officer and commander, two months ago he was killed by a taliban sniper. after days of hospitalisation, he succumbed to his injury. he left three kids and his wife behind. he went to fight the war, he went to
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fight the element of afghans, that nobody in the family agreed to it, but this is the big sacrifice that our family made but this is the big sacrifice that ourfamily made in this but this is the big sacrifice that our family made in this country and i think this is notjust the story of ourfamily, this is i think this is notjust the story of our family, this is the story of tens of hundreds of families who somehow made a big sacrifice to save this system, this government, and unfortunately, the thing that we are seeing now, in the country, is not what the reward of our sacrifice. how do you feel when you hear afghanistan security forces being blamed for failing to fight back successfully. 7 i blamed for failing to fight back successfully. ?_
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successfully. ? ithink that is sometimes... _ successfully. ? ithink that is sometimes... it _ successfully. ? ithink that is sometimes... it is _ successfully. ? ithink that is sometimes... it is really - successfully. ? i think that is - sometimes... it is really making me sad because our security forces are the ones who actually fought this war with integrity, honour, and with the ultimate sacrifice. i think the people, what people want is that it is not the soldier, it is about the leaders, the leadership, it is about the afghan leaders who were leading this war at a political level, and on the ground, no soldier has really been considered as traitors, because they, like my brother, they were willing to fight, sacrifice their
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life for this country, but what has happened in the past two weeks has been a clear indication of how afghans as political leaders who are not willing to fight, and they failed and betrayed the nation. i think they betrayed all the afghans and the national security forces as well. �* ., ., i. and the national security forces as well. �* ., ., well. and what about your safety? you have done _ well. and what about your safety? you have done work, _ well. and what about your safety? you have done work, translated, l well. and what about your safety? i you have done work, translated, you have done your bit to try to help the new afghanistan, are you scared? yes, of course. despite the fact that the taliban are trying to somehow, telling people that you can
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be forgiven, but i personally cannot trust the taliban at this point because historically, the taliban is not a group that we as people, as afghans, could believe in. so i have worked with foreigners, in particularly, i did work with them, and my work is quite high—risk now, and my work is quite high—risk now, and unfortunately, there is no way for me to make sure me and my family is safe in afghanistan. i am concerned and i think a lot of young people especially are concerned about their safety.— people especially are concerned about their safety. thank you for s-ueakin about their safety. thank you for speaking to _ about their safety. thank you for speaking to us — about their safety. thank you for speaking to us on _ about their safety. thank you for speaking to us on bbc— about their safety. thank you for speaking to us on bbc news, - about their safety. thank you for - speaking to us on bbc news, hamed, and we think that —— thick we hope
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that you and your family stay safe. rangheena hamidi, afghanistan's minister of education in ashraf ghani's government, joins me now from kabul. everything is changing and for our guest, probably more than many, she joins us direct from kabul. thank you for being on bbc news. i want to ask you about your safety first. what is happening for you right now? i think there is no difference in what ijust heard, my previous countryman talking about, safety and security, i am countryman talking about, safety and security, iam in countryman talking about, safety and security, i am in shock, countryman talking about, safety and security, iam in shock, disbelief and i did not think that things would happen the way they did. the saddest part is that i did not expect this, i did not expect this from the president that i knew and a
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president who i trusted fully. somehow in my heart, i do not want to believe that is true that he left, but if he did, it is really a shame. ., ~' left, but if he did, it is really a shame. ., ~ , ., ., left, but if he did, it is really a shame. ., ~ i. ., ., ~ shame. you knew him, you have worked with him, as _ shame. you knew him, you have worked with him, as a — shame. you knew him, you have worked with him, as a minister— shame. you knew him, you have worked with him, as a minister in _ shame. you knew him, you have worked with him, as a minister in his _ with him, as a minister in his government, and only yesterday he was telling the people the army will be re—mobilised, and now, do you feel betrayed? l. i be re-mobilised, and now, do you feel betrayed?— feel betrayed? l, i think we have 'ust lost feel betrayed? l, i think we have just lost the _ feel betrayed? l, i think we have just lost the line... _ feel betrayed? l, i think we have just lost the line... 0h, - feel betrayed? l, i think we have just lost the line... oh, there - feel betrayed? l, i think we have| just lost the line... oh, there you are. ~ , , ., are. we just lost the line. it is a feeling of _ are. we just lost the line. it is a feeling of betrayal _ are. we just lost the line. it is a feeling of betrayal for _ are. we just lost the line. it is a feeling of betrayal for you, - are. we just lost the line. it is a feeling of betrayal for you, is i are. we just lost the line. it is a | feeling of betrayal for you, is it? feeling of betrayalfor you, is it? notjust feeling of betrayalfor you, is it? not just for feeling of betrayalfor you, is it? notjust for me, for the entire nation. it is certainly a betrayal. i was asked earlier on bbc radio programme if i was feeling betrayed by the international community, and
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i did not answer that quite bluntly, because i still wanted to believe that we have leaders or leadership in the country that will take care of us. but if this information is true that president ashraf danny and his close team left without informing the nation, then yes, it is a betrayal to the whole nation of afghanistan. —— ghani. you is a betrayal to the whole nation of afghanistan. -- ghani.— is a betrayal to the whole nation of afghanistan. -- ghani. you speak as someone who _ afghanistan. -- ghani. you speak as someone who is _ afghanistan. -- ghani. you speak as someone who is a _ afghanistan. -- ghani. you speak as someone who is a role _ afghanistan. -- ghani. you speak as someone who is a role model - afghanistan. -- ghani. you speak as someone who is a role model for - afghanistan. -- ghani. you speak as i someone who is a role model for many people, you are also there is a citizen and as a mother. what do you think now for your own daughter? yes. the fear that every mother has in afghanistan. the fear that every woman has in afghanistan. deep down, in my heart, i keep telling myself to think that i have not done anything bad, and hopefully i won't
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have to pay the price forjoining a government position. but now i might face consequences that i never even dream of, i guess that is the price that we pay for trying to make this world a little better than when we came to it. and particularly afghanistan.— came to it. and particularly afuhanistan. ., ., , ~ afghanistan. what does it feel like ri . ht afghanistan. what does it feel like riaht now afghanistan. what does it feel like right now because _ afghanistan. what does it feel like right now because are _ afghanistan. what does it feel like right now because are you - afghanistan. what does it feel like right now because are you having l afghanistan. what does it feel like l right now because are you having to be worried about a on the door? anything is possible. i'm actually sitting in the whole way of the house where there is not too many windows close by, just a little earlier, there were lots of gunshots and so i brought my daughter and the other kids living in the house with us, to be a bit safe, but in terms of how safe we are, and how this
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note, if we remain until the morning, it is very, very difficult to predict if we'll be here until the morning. to predict if we'll be here until the morning-— to predict if we'll be here until the morning. to predict if we'll be here until the mornin:. �* , , , the morning. and there must be sony arents the morning. and there must be sony parents like — the morning. and there must be sony parents like you _ the morning. and there must be sony parents like you in _ the morning. and there must be sony parents like you in kabul— the morning. and there must be sony parents like you in kabul thinking, - parents like you in kabul thinking, do we stay inside and shelter? do we try to get out? bud do we stay inside and shelter? do we try to get out?— try to get out? and then what? exactl . try to get out? and then what? exactly- that — try to get out? and then what? exactly. that is _ try to get out? and then what? exactly. that is the _ try to get out? and then what? exactly. that is the question i try to get out? and then what? j exactly. that is the question on everyone's mine. it is the shock —— mind. i'm sitting here thinking, the ideas arejust floating. mind. i'm sitting here thinking, the ideas are just floating. i thought the americans had sent 5000 troops along with the british, along with the canadians, and my question is did these 5000 plus troops also leave? 0r did these 5000 plus troops also leave? or at least somebody confirming whether this information is true? because all day long, rumours, information have been floating around that it is hard to believe what to believe. and i hope
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that there is at least some responsible entity is party to at least tell us the truth so that we can deal with our life the way we want to but to keep us in this dark, is the most inhumane thing anybody can do on this earth. lie is the most inhumane thing anybody can do on this earth.— can do on this earth. us troops, us helicopters — can do on this earth. us troops, us helicopters have _ can do on this earth. us troops, us helicopters have been _ can do on this earth. us troops, us helicopters have been getting - helicopters have been getting embassy staff out to the airport. the us secretary of state, antony blinken, has said that the mission in afghanistan was a success. what would you say to him if he was there? in your hallway now? it would you say to him if he was there? in your hallway now? it was a wonderful part _ there? in your hallway now? it was a wonderful part they _ there? in your hallway now? it was a wonderful part they play _ there? in your hallway now? it was a wonderful part they play for - there? in your hallway now? it was a wonderful part they play for 20 - wonderful part they play for 20 years and i guess, right before the end of 20 years, the game is over. and for us afghans, we are the losers, then, we are going to end up paying the price for whatever anybody, both my country's political leaders as well as the international
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community leaders did in the past 20 years, and i'm now beginning to believe that the disbelief... i'm beginning to believe the rumours that people used to believe that all these political leaders are here for money and power and i kept telling myself that that cannot be true, that i got and i believe that people still have values, but i think today the entire world proved itself that corrupt government officials end up making corrupt government decisions. the taliban have been to make we have been speaking, in the bbc, to a telephone spokesperson at length, who said they will not be violence in kabul and there will not be violence against women. there is obviously an attempt by the taliban to tell the outside world that they have changed. since the last time,
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that is. can you take any solace from that? ms; that is. can you take any solace from that?— that is. can you take any solace from that? g , . ., from that? my experience of living here, from that? my experience of living here. working _ from that? my experience of living here, working here _ from that? my experience of living here, working here for— from that? my experience of living here, working here for 18 - from that? my experience of living here, working here for 18 years i from that? my experience of living | here, working here for 18 years and growing old, literally, growing my hair, in this country, i'd like to believe what people say, but honestly, with the experience that we have experience, particularly today, it is very, very difficult for me to believe anybody�*s was any more. and so i willjust have to wait and see. i more. and so i will 'ust have to wait and seek more. and so i will 'ust have to wait and see. i really appreciate ou wait and see. i really appreciate you talking _ wait and see. i really appreciate you talking to — wait and see. i really appreciate you talking to us _ wait and see. i really appreciate you talking to us about - wait and see. i really appreciate you talking to us about the - you talking to us about the situation that you are in and i hear you telling us that most everything you telling us that most everything you have believed is falling away from you, that sense ofjust not knowing what you can believe any more. ii i knowing what you can believe any more. .., .,
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knowing what you can believe any more, . ., ., , more. ifi can add, i grew up in, artl more. ifi can add, i grew up in, partly as— more. ifi can add, i grew up in, partly as a _ more. ifi can add, i grew up in, partly as a refugee _ more. ifi can add, i grew up in, partly as a refugee kids - more. ifi can add, i grew up in, partly as a refugee kids in - partly as a refugee kids in pakistan, a0 years ago, and my father and my mother were forced to flee this country at the time of the communist coup, and there we landed in america as i grew up in america, going to school there and i was always taught in school, and in the values of family, that truth and honesty is the virtue to hold onto, and unfortunately, politics in this very short time of politics i have seen, has certainly proved that in the political world, truth and honesty do not matter, so my advice to anybody, if i may not be here on this earth after now, please, tell all young people, if you want to live an honest and a virtuous life, do notjoin politics. any esports! —— of any type. irate
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do not join politics. any esports! -- of any type-— -- of any type. we feel for you, thank you. _ -- of any type. we feel for you, thank you. and _ -- of any type. we feel for you, thank you, and for _ -- of any type. we feel for you, thank you, and for the - -- of any type. we feel for you, thank you, and for the children | thank you, and for the children that stay with you. thank you for being with us here on bbc news.- stay with you. thank you for being with us here on bbc news. joining me now is ismael saadat from the bbc�*s afghan service here in london. you have probably been having conversations like that throughout the day, ismael, so many people talking of being abandoned and now abandoned by their own president. yes, absolutely. not only ordinary people, many are expressing their anger and their disappointment on social media and in social groups, but also some of the officials of the government as we hear from the minister, —— as we had from the minister, —— as we had from the minister earlier, and the minister of defence, of present galley�*s cabinet, he has sent a post on his social media accounts. he tied our
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hands from behind, so that the country is at the curse of his gang. that is the level of anger that has been expressed against what he did. leaving the country, that is. it has come to a surprise, as a surprise, too many afghans. it was something that very few might have expected and the following of his departure now, where there is a statement from kabul, they need to confront for the nation council that has been set though, in aid of the reconciliation council, abdullah abdullah, the former councillor, or leader, in
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order to fill the void that has been left behind by the departure of president orformer left behind by the departure of president or former president ashton ghani. and to keep law in order, to facilitate the peaceful transfer of power. 50 facilitate the peaceful transfer of ower. ., facilitate the peaceful transfer of ower. . ., facilitate the peaceful transfer of ower. ., ., ., power. so the talks in doha now become crucial, _ power. so the talks in doha now become crucial, i _ power. so the talks in doha now become crucial, i suppose - power. so the talks in doha now become crucial, i suppose there j power. so the talks in doha now l become crucial, i suppose there is talk about whether the taliban will insist on being allowed to govern alone, orwill they insist on being allowed to govern alone, or will they include others. as i say, i think it has said time again, the taliban, from the very beginning, were pushing for exclusive power, i would say, and they would bring others under their
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umbrella, it is not like a shared government power, with other governments, they would like to be at the top of the power, and then share some of the mist in a serial —— share some of the ministerial posts and sections of the political section of the society. i do not know, the talks in doha, they would still go ahead, when it is still at the level of rumours, the presidential palace, the guards have left and some of the taliban have said this is still a rumour and no one has confronted this, and some of
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the taliban have been seen within the taliban have been seen within the perimeter of the palace. they might not need to hold the negotiations in doha, they will have two stay together and make their power transfer for transition happen quickly, sooner rather than later. i think, adding to what you have just said, we havejust had a newsline drop from reuters, saying that taliban officials have said they will be no transitional government in afghanistan and the group expects a complete handover of power. you are nodding, presumably you have expected them to be saying that. exactly, yes. in spite of the fact that they were saying officially they want an inclusive government, in spite of the talks, and will not
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monopolise power, but it was very obvious that they were thinking of leaving the government, they wanted the power for themselves and then sharing it with others. find the power for themselves and then sharing it with others.— sharing it with others. and then, ismael, if _ sharing it with others. and then, ismael, if the _ sharing it with others. and then, ismael, if the salamanders - sharing it with others. and then, ismael, if the salamanders take | ismael, if the salamanders take over, assume power completely, who are their international allies, it was the look first to pakistan? different countries, we know that other western countries and other regional powers have said that they will not recognise a regime that takes power by force, but now i do not know how this transition will be described, if maybe the telephone will say that they have not taken kabul by force, it was evacuated, and filled that role,. it will depend on how they behave and what
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sort of government they are going to establish, i think many people will be cautiously watching, as you mentioned pakistan, and previously, in the 90s, it was recognised only by three countries, pakistan, the united arab emirates and saudi arabia, and there were some reports that china has said that no matter how the power is transferred in kabul, they will recognise whoever takes power in kabul. but we will see how the taliban established a government and how they present themselves to the international community. and what they are in power, that is. because being in power, that is. because being in power is something different from being a insurgent group.—
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being a insurgent group. ismael, thank ou being a insurgent group. ismael, thank you very — being a insurgent group. ismael, thank you very much _ being a insurgent group. ismael, thank you very much for - being a insurgent group. ismael, thank you very much for your - thank you very much for your analysis. this story is moving at a fast pace so let's just remind ourselves what else we know happenend just today. the taliban closed in on kabul this morning after seizing the eastern city of jalalabad. afghanistan's acting interior minister said they want a peaceful transfer of power to a transitional government. the taliban has told the bbc they want to take power in the next few days, but will respect the rights of women. roads out of kabul have been packed with people fleeing the taliban. the taliban have captured more territory, including the former us airbase at bagram. the us has begun evacuating staff from their embassy in the capital. according to eyewitnesses, taliban militants met little resistance along the way to the capital. as we have been telling you, they are now, theirfighters are now inside kabul, has been given instructions that they can move into the capital city. it is a good time to think about who the teledyne are,
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they call themselves the islamic emirate of afghanistan —— who the taliban are. they performed around a core of... formed around a core of afghan mujahideen veterans from the soviet invasion, they were joined by young men from pakistani madrassas or religious schools. while primarily recruited from the pashtun ethnic group, the taliban was made up of volunteers of numerous afghan ethnicities. after the us—led coalition's offensive resulted in the regime's collapse in 2001, after 9/11, many taliban leaders took refuge in pakistan and continued to direct attacks from there. the un says there are an estimated 58,000 to 100,000 taliban fighters, led by hebba—toollah akhundzadaa, the ultimate authority on religious and military affairs. one of his deputies, now head of the group's military commission, is mullah mohammad yaqub 0mari, son of the taliban founder,
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the late mullah 0mar. the un says estimates for the taliban's annual income range from $300 million to $1.6 billion a year. understandably, it is a bit murky. the primary sources of their funds are criminal activities, including drug production and trafficking. let's speak now to retired brigadier—general mark kimmitt. he was also former assistant secretary of state for political—military affairs under president george w bush. thank you very much forjoining us. we are hearing so much change so fast, can i get your reaction to the news that taliban fighters are in kabul and the former president, ashraf ghani is not. from a military perspective everybody was shocked by the collapse of the afghan army. this will clearly go down as one of the great routs in military history, starting with rome, going all the
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way to france

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