Veiled women, armed men: Life in Afghanistan under Taliban | Photo Diary

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Armed men celebrating on roads, veiled women hoping to get back their rights, citizens waiting for normalcy to return and tension still palpable in the air – as the Taliban celebrate one year of seizing power in Afghanistan on August 15, for Afghan citizens there is nothing to celebrate.

One year ago, Taliban fighters advanced rapidly across Afghanistan as United States President Joe Biden announced the withdrawal of troops who had been helping the Afghan government rule for decades. The Taliban, sensing a fit opportunity, rushed across the country, seizing province after province before finally capturing Kabul on August 15, 2021.

Meanwhile, thousands of Afghans rushed to airports and railway stations in a desperate attempt to flee to the neighbouring countries to escape Taliban rule. Dramatic scenes from the country showed men falling from a plane as many huddled on the aircraft wing at Kabul airport. Many managed to flee, several died and most had to stay behind to face their worst fear.

Even after one year, images from the Taliban takeover still hunt Afghans who managed to flee the country, while those who stayed back are facing a catastrophe that worsened after the fall of Kabul. Afghanistan has been reeling from a grave humanitarian crisis with 95 per cent of Afghans going hungry. The war in Afghanistan ended with the Taliban seizing power, but Afghans are still facing their battle for a better life with no improvement in sight.

As the Taliban celebrate one year of power in Afghanistan, here’s a look at pictures depicting life in Afghanistan under Taliban rule.

Afghan boys hold weapons as they pose for a photo during celebrations one year after the Taliban seized the Afghan capital, Kabul, in front of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. The Taliban marked the first-year anniversary of their takeover after the country’s western-backed government fled and the Afghan military crumbled in the face of the insurgents’ advance. (AP)

Basera, 13, right, and Saira, 10, wait for their class to begin at Loy Ghar school, in the bombed-out carcass of the Kabul Theater in Afghanistan’s capital. The bullet-riddled building has become a place of hope for more than 400 students looking to rebuild their lives after decades of war. Classrooms have sprung up near windows or where bombs have destroyed enough of the wall to allow in sunlight. (AP)

Afghan girls attend a religious school, which remained open since the last year’s Taliban takeover, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug 11, 2022. For most teenage girls in Afghanistan, it’s been a year since they set foot in a classroom. With no sign the ruling Taliban will allow them back to school, some girls and parents are trying to find ways to keep education from stalling for a generation of young women. (AP)

This photo taken on July 18, 2022, shows a man preparing breakfast in a stall in Kandahar. – One year on from the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan, some cracks are opening within their ranks over the crucial question of just how much reform their leaders can tolerate. Infamous during their first reign for their brutal crackdowns on rights and freedoms, the Islamists vowed to rule differently this time. (AFP)

In this picture taken on August 9, 2022, Afghan primary schoolgirls walk to their school along a street in Kabul. – One year on from the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan, some cracks are opening within their ranks over the crucial question of just how much reform their leaders can tolerate. Infamous during their first reign for their brutal crackdowns on rights and freedoms, the Islamists vowed to rule differently this time. (AFP)

Afghan burqa-clad women carry flags as they walk along a street to celebrate the Taliban’s victory in Kandahar on August 15, 2022. – Taliban fighters chanted victory slogans next to the US embassy in Kabul on August 15 as they marked the first anniversary of their return to power in Afghanistan following a turbulent year that saw women’s rights crushed and a humanitarian crisis worsen. (AFP)

Taliban fighters celebrate one year since they seized the Afghan capital, Kabul, in front of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. The Taliban marked the first-year anniversary of their takeover after the country’s western-backed government fled and the Afghan military crumbled in the face of the insurgents’ advance. (AP)

Kabul: Afghan militiamen join Afghan defense and security forces during a gathering in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, June 23, 2021. Taliban gains in north Afghanistan, the traditional stronghold of the country’s minority ethnic groups who drove the insurgent forces from power nearly 20 A years ago, have driven a worried government to resurrect militias whose histories have been characterized by chaos and widespread killing. (AP)

Taliban fighters celebrate one year since they seized the Afghan capital, Kabul, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. The Taliban marked the first-year anniversary of their takeover after the country’s western-backed government fled and the Afghan military crumbled in the face of the insurgents’ advance.

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