The Biden advice Afghanistan’s Ghani reportedly didn’t take


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Taliban official says group will be accountable

The Taliban will be accountable for its actions and will investigate reports of reprisals and atrocities carried out by members, an official of the Islamist militant group told Reuters on Saturday (August 21).Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said the group planned to ready a new model for governing Afghanistan within the next few weeks.It wouldn’t be a Western-style democracy but would protect everyone’s rights, he said.He also confirmed that Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar has arrived in the Afghan capital Kabul for talks with militant commanders, former government leaders and religious scholars. In the week since the Taliban’s lightening takeover of the country, individual Afghans and international aid and advocacy groups have reported harsh retaliation against protests, and roundups of those who formerly held government positions, criticized the Taliban or worked with Americans.Former officials told harrowing tales of hiding from the Taliban in recent days as gunmen went from door to door. The official said the group had heard of atrocities and crimes against civilians, and if Taliban members were responsible they’d be investigated.Speaking of the chaos at Kabul airport, besieged by thousands of people desperate to flee, he stated it was not the Taliban’s doing, before adding “The West could have had a better plan to evacuate.”Armed Taliban members around the airport have urged those without travel documents to go home. At least 12 people have been killed in and around the airport since last Sunday, according to NATO and Taliban officials.President Joe Biden promised Americans there that “we will get you home,” but warned the evacuation mission would be risky and dangerous.The Taliban has sought to present a more moderate face since its takeover.But it ruled with an iron fist from 1996 to 2001, before being toppled by U.S.-led forces.This unidentified woman, speaking from Kabul, issued a video saying this was the ‘darkest hour’ for women and girls, who have lost hope.A senior Taliban leader has said that the role of women in Afghanistan, including their right to work and education and how they should dress, would be decided by a council of Islamic scholarsOf the Taliban’s promise to protect rights, she says: “I don’t know how much I can trust them.”

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