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    Spoils of war: Taliban put victory over US on display




    GHAZNI: Within the governor’s compound of Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, a brand new historic exhibit is unveiled earlier than a rapt viewers of Taliban fighters — sections of blast partitions from a former US navy base. One concrete slab is inscribed with the names and regiments of US troops who served within the province throughout America’s longest conflict.

    Like troopers all through historical past, US troops repeatedly daubed their names on the partitions of bases and glued positions they occupied. However now the towering block is on public show — getting used to bolster the Taliban’s narrative of toppling US-led forces after 20 years of combating.

    “We have now to point out this in order that Afghans, the world, and future generations know that we beat the Individuals,” Taliban provincial tradition chief Mullah Habibullah Mujahid advised AFP.

    “Even when they known as themselves the best energy on this planet.”

    Taliban forces took town of Ghazni — 150 kilometres (95 miles) south of Kabul — three days earlier than the capital fell on August 15. The area has 3,500 years of wealthy recorded historical past, and the Taliban are actually busy writing the newest chapter with proof of their navy triumph.

    The propaganda push comes as Afghanistan’s new rulers battle to evolve from an insurgency to a governing energy in a rustic on the point of financial collapse, with the UN estimating greater than half the inhabitants is going through acute starvation. On roads outdoors town of almost 200,000, one other casual exhibition to the Taliban victory has been erected. Rusting hulks of destroyed American armoured automobiles are on show, their weapons eliminated, their tyres flat and frayed.

    Youngsters clamber round and over the wreckage, which additionally options skeletons of deserted Soviet tanks from the decade-long occupation of Afghanistan. That invasion resulted in humiliation for the Soviets, and — alongside the defeat of British troops within the nineteenth century — Afghans are fast to remind guests that the nation has now triumphed over three international empires.

    “We’re pleased with our achievement once we see this,” stated 18-year-old Taliban fighter Ozair, who like many within the nation goes by just one title.

    “We confirmed that Afghans born right here might beat America, a robust nation,” he added, surveying the crumpled humvees and charred personnel carriers.

    Reminders and relics of twenty years of the US-led occupation of Afghanistan are scattered throughout the nation — a few of them usable. A lot navy {hardware} gifted to Afghan police and armed forces fell into the palms of the Taliban within the final chaotic days of the US-backed authorities. The windfall of weapons, automobiles and uniforms has given the brand new rulers of Kabul tangible spoils of victory.

    However curating these trophies into a reputable homage to the Taliban’s return to energy stays a problem. Standing on the blast partitions, Mullah Habibullah Mujahid boasted that the 20 or so names inscribed included “necessary commanders and generals” killed in fight. The ranks listed, nevertheless, have been all junior — and not one of the names function on databases of Individuals killed within the conflict.



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