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Taliban name caretaker Cabinet that pays homage to old guard

Afghanistan
Posted at 9:26 AM, Sep 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-07 12:26:33-04

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban have announced a caretaker Cabinet that pays homage to the old guard of the group, giving top posts to Taliban personalities who dominated the 20-year battle against the U.S.-led coalition and its Afghan government allies.

Interim Prime Minister Mullah Hasan Akhund headed the Taliban government in Kabul during the last years of its rule.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who had led talks with the United States and signed the deal that led to America's final withdrawal from Afghanistan, will be one of two deputies to Akhund.

There was no evidence of non-Taliban in the lineup — a big demand of the international community.

Afghanistan news organization Tolo News reported that Mawlavi Hannafi would act as Second Deputy, acting Minister of Defense would be Mullah Yaqoub, and Serajuddin Haqqani was named acting Minister of Interior.

News of the announcement comes after the Taliban fired into the air to disperse crowds gathered in Kabul to protest the Taliban rule.

According to the Associated Press, several journalists covering the protest were arrested, including one who was reportedly beaten with a microphone they were holding.

In a tweet, Tolo News said one of its photographers, Wahid Ahmadi, had been detained by the Taliban while filming the protest.

In a follow-up tweet, Tolo News said Ahmadi was released after being detained for three hours, along with his camera and the photos he took of the demonstration.