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Taliban celebrate, al Qaeda leaders return to Afghanistan day after U.S. exit

Added 08-31-21 06:35:02pm EST - “Taliban fighters celebrated at the Kabul airport Tuesday while key al Qaeda leaders made a triumphant return to Afghanistan, signaling a dark new reality for the country a day after Western troops withdrew and America ended the longest-running…” - Washingtontimes.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Washingtontimes.com: “Taliban celebrate, al Qaeda leaders return to Afghanistan day after U.S. exit”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Taliban fighters celebrated at the Kabul airport Tuesday while key al Qaeda leaders made a triumphant return to Afghanistan, signaling a dark new reality for the country a day after Western troops withdrew and America ended the longest-running war in its history.

Finally free of a U.S. military presence after 20 years, Taliban leaders promised they will soon form a new “inclusive” government in Afghanistan. The Islamist group has tried hard to shed the hard-line reputation it ¬†earned during its previous time in power in the late 1990s, though troubling reports of Taliban violence, retribution and collaboration with terrorists have already undercut that effort in recent days.

On the ground at the Kabul airport, the Taliban reveled in having taken full control of a facility that just days earlier was the site of the largest airlift in American history.

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“Afghanistan is finally free,” Hekmatullah Wasiq, a top Taliban official, told The Associated Press. “Everything is peaceful. Everything is safe.”

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