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As world remembers 9/11, Taliban raises flag over Afghan presidential palace

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban raised their flag over the Afghan presidential palace Saturday, a spokesman said, as the US and the world marked the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

The white banner, emblazoned with a Quranic verse, was hoisted by Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, the prime minister of the Taliban interim government, in a low-key ceremony, said Ahmadullah Muttaqi, multimedia branch chief of the Taliban’s cultural commission.

The flag-raising marked the official start of the work of the new government, he said. The composition of the all-male, all-Taliban government was announced earlier this week and was met with disappointment by the international community which had hoped the Taliban would make good on an earlier promise of an inclusive lineup.

Two decades ago, the Taliban ruled Afghanistan with a heavy hand. Television was banned, and on September 11, 2001, the day of the horrific attacks on America, the news spread from crackling radios across the darkened streets of the Afghan capital of Kabul.

The city rarely had electricity and barely a million people lived in Kabul at the time. It took the US-led coalition just two months to drive the Taliban from the capital and by December 7, 2001, they were defeated, driven from their last holdout in southern Kandahar, their spiritual heartland.

Twenty years........

© The Times of Israel

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