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Afghanistan celebrates first anniversary of US withdrawal with fireworks; Video

Tuesday night, the first anniversary of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, which the Taliban has declared ‘Freedom Day’, saw celebratory fireworks light up the Kabul sky. The Taliban, who had waged a 20-year insurgency against American-led forces that invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 in response to the September 11 attacks in New York, took control of the war-torn country as the departure was completed a minute past midnight local time on August 30.

On Tuesday, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid stated that ‘fireworks of various and beautiful colours will be held to mark Freedom Day’.¬† In addition to the fireworks, there was ferocious aerial shooting in many parts of Kabul.

To commemorate the occasion, the de facto Taliban government declared Wednesday a public holiday, according to the labour ministry. The commander of US Central Command acknowledged at the time that the withdrawal had caused ‘a lot of sadness’.¬†Because Washington and its NATO allies had no idea the Taliban would win so quickly, they were forced to leave as soon as possible.

The United States completed its military withdrawal from Afghanistan after a massive but chaotic airlift that killed 13 American service members and left thousands of Afghans and hundreds of Americans still seeking freedom from Taliban rule.

Many more remain in Afghanistan, where the Taliban is attempting to establish a fully operational government that is acceptable to the international community, though some have been allowed to leave. The Taliban are currently fighting their own insurgency, which is being led by the militant organization’s Afghanistan branch.

 

 

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