Taliban show off armoured vehicles and weaponry during victory parade

The Taliban show off dozens of US-made armoured vehicles and weaponry during victory parades which even feature helicopter air displays

  • Events on Wednesday marked a celebration of the U.S. withdrawal from and Taliban recapture of Afghanistan
  • At a Kandahar parade, a Black Hawk helicopter trailing the Taliban flag was seen flying above crowds
  • A long line of green Humvees and other armoured vehicles were driven in single file by armed Taliban fighters
  • Parades came just hours after U.S. President Joe Biden defended the withdrawal of troops from the country 

The Taliban showed off dozens of US-made armoured vehicles and weaponry during  victory parades today.

One event, in the southern city of Kandahar, even featured a fly-past from a Black Hawk helicopter flying the flag of the Taliban.

The parades of the hardware, captured during the group’s takeover of Afghanistan, were held just hours after U.S. President Joe Biden defended his decision to end two decades of American presence in the country.

The Islamist hardliners are celebrating Monday’s final withdrawal of U.S. troops as an historic victory after taking control of all but one of the country’s 34 provinces in an astonishing two-week offensive.

On Wednesday, a long line of green Humvees and armoured fighting vehicles drove in single file along a highway outside Kandahar – the spiritual birthplace of the militant movement. Many of the vehicles had the white and black Taliban flag attached to them.

Footage posted on social media showed a helicopter flying overhead trailing the Taliban’s standard behind it as fighters waved from below.

At least one Black Hawk helicopter has been seen flying over Kandahar in recent days, suggesting that someone from the former Afghan army was at the controls as the Taliban lack pilots.         

The Taliban showed off dozens of US-made armoured vehicles and weaponry during victory parades today

One event, in the southern city of Kandahar, even featured a fly-past from a Black Hawk helicopter (pictured) flying the flag of the Taliban

The parades of the hardware, captured during the group’s takeover of Afghanistan, were held just hours after U.S. President Joe Biden defended his decision to end two decades of American presence in the country

Pictured: Supposed Taliban supporters gather to watch a parade in Kandahar on Wednesday

As the Taliban celebrated on Wednesday, Afghans and the international community awaited details of the group’s plans for governing with concern

Pictures: Taliban soldiers grin as they celebrate recapturing Afghanistan and the withdrawal of U.S. troops

The United Nations warned meanwhile of a looming ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ in Afghanistan, underscoring the daunting challenges that the Taliban face as they transform from insurgent group to governing power.

Biden was nonetheless defiant in his speech.

‘This is the right decision. A wise decision. And the best decision for America,’ he said in an address to the nation.

For the United States, Biden argued, the only choice was ‘leaving or escalating’.

The president, who has been savaged by critics for his handling of the withdrawal which saw the US and its allies evacuate more than 122,000 in just over two weeks, hailed the operation as an ‘extraordinary success’.

‘No nation has ever done anything like it in all of history; only the United States had the capacity and the will and ability to do it,’ he said. 

All eyes will now turn to how the Taliban handle their first few days with sole authority over the country, with a sharp focus on whether they will allow free departure for those wanting to leave – including some foreigners.

The United States has said that ‘under 200’ of its citizens remain in the country, and Britain said the number of UK nationals inside was in the ‘low hundreds’.

The United States has said that ‘under 200’ of its citizens remain in the country, and Britain said the number of UK nationals inside was in the ‘low hundreds’

The Islamist hardliners are celebrating Monday’s final withdrawal of U.S. troops as an historic victory after taking control of all but one of the country’s 34 provinces in an astonishing two-week offensive

Traffic police escort Taliban forces as they celebrate the withdrawal of U.S. forces in Kandahar on Wednesday

Pictured: Taliban forces rally to celebrate the withdrawal of U.S., which President Joe Biden defended just hours before

Pictured: Supposed Taliban supporters watch a parade in Kandahar on Wednesday

Thousands of Afghans who worked with the US-backed government over the years and fear retribution still want to get out.

Talks are ongoing on who will now run Kabul airport, which German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned was of ‘existential importance’ as a lifeline for aid.

A Qatar Airways flight landed in Kabul on Wednesday afternoon – the first since the United States departed – bringing a team of technical experts to work on fixing the trashed airport, a source close to the matter told AFP news agency.

The goal was to resume flights for both humanitarian aid and to provide freedom of movement for those wanting to leave.

Many Afghans are terrified of a repeat of the Taliban’s initial rule from 1996 to 2001, which was infamous for their treatment of women and girls, as well as a brutal justice system.

The group has repeatedly promised a more tolerant brand of governance compared with their first stint in power.

Still, senior Taliban leader Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai told BBC Pashto in an interview that while women could continue working, there ‘may not’ be a place for them in the cabinet of any future government or any other top post.

Taliban fighters remained heavily armed at the celebration in Kandahar, which took place almost a week after twin bomb attacks killed more than 180 people at Kabul airport

A long line of green Humvees and armoured fighting vehicles drove in single file along a highway outside Kandahar – the spiritual birthplace of the militant movement


Footage shared on social media showed the Taliban rolling through the streets in heavily armoured vehicles and engaging with citizens

. Many of the captured vehicles on parade had the white and black Taliban flag attached to them

Taliban fighters in cars and motocycles took place in a smaller-scale parade in Kandahar on Tuesday

Authorities from several countries have already begun meeting with Taliban leadership, the latest being India

Children shout slogans and wave flags during a pro-Taliban demonstration in Kandahar on Tuesday

UN chief Antonio Guterres expressed his ‘grave concern at the deepening humanitarian and economic crisis in the country’, adding that basic services were at threat of collapsing ‘completely’.

He pleaded for financial support from the international community for the war-ravaged country, which is dependent on foreign aid. 

Authorities from several countries have already begun meeting with Taliban leadership, the latest being India.

Qatar’s foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, urged the Taliban to combat terrorism and called for an inclusive government.

The US-led airlift began as the Taliban completed an astonishing rout of government forces around the country and took over the capital on August 15.

The withdrawal came just before the August 31 deadline set by Biden to end the war, which began with a US-led invasion that ousted the Taliban in the wake of 9/11, but later reached a stalemate on the battlefield with the resurgent militants.

The conflict has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Afghans and more than 2,400 American service members.

The evacuation was complicated by a threat from the regional offshoot of the Islamic State group, rivals of the Taliban.

Thirteen US troops were among more than 100 people killed when an IS suicide bomber attacked the perimeter of the airport, where desperate Afghans had massed in the hope of boarding an evacuation flight.

The Taliban are still in the process of firming up its governing plans, which it says will be guided by the principles of Sharia Law. Pictured: A Taliban fighter

Thousands of Afghans who worked with the US-backed government over the years and fear retribution still want to get out of the country but there is uncertainty as to whether the Taliban will allow this. The group says it will

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