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Taliban Hold Military Parade to Celebrate U.S. Withdraw Anniversary

Taliban militants and civilians celebrate the first anniversary of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, in Kabul's Massoud Square on Aug. 31. (Lorenzo Tugnoli for The Washington Post)
Taliban militants and civilians celebrate the first anniversary of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, in Kabul’s Massoud Square on Aug. 31. (Lorenzo Tugnoli for The Washington Post)

The Taliban marked the first anniversary of the U.S. military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan with their own military parade at Bagram Airfield, which was at one point America’s largest base in the country.

The group’s spokesman released videos on social media showing fighters marching in lockstep in Western-style uniforms followed by a convoy of armed vehicles that flew the Taliban’s black and white flag, according to the Washington Post.

“We are gathered here to celebrate the first anniversary of the withdrawal,” Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman from the Taliban, told local media present at the event. “I am proud that our country was liberated on this day and American troops were forced to leave Afghanistan,” he said.

The final U.S. troops to leave Afghanistan exited on Aug. 30, 2021, nearly 20 years after an older generation of soldiers first entered the country in the aftermath of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil. They left with a similar situation as to when they arrived — with the Taliban in charge and ready to impose strict cultural and gender-based regulations on society.

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