Wednesday, June 19, 2024

In show of strength, Taliban hold military parade with US-made weapons in Kabul

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The parade was linked to the graduation of 250 freshly trained soldiers, defence ministry spokesman Enayatullah Khwarazmi said.
Members of Taliban sit on a military vehicle during Taliban military parade in Kabul, Afghanistan.(REUTERS)

Taliban forces held a military parade in Kabul on Sunday using captured American-made armoured vehicles and Russian helicopters in a display that showed their ongoing transformation from an insurgent force to a regular standing army

The Taliban operated as insurgent fighters for two decades but have used the large stock of weapons and equipment left behind when the former Western-backed government collapsed in August to overhaul their forces.

The parade was linked to the graduation of 250 freshly trained soldiers, defence ministry spokesman Enayatullah Khwarazmi said.

The exercise involved dozens of U.S.-made M117 armoured security vehicles driving slowly up and down a major Kabul road with MI-17 helicopters patrolling overhead. Many soldiers carried American made-M4 assault rifles.

Most of the weapons and equipment the Taliban forces are now using are those supplied by Washington to the American-backed government in Kabul in a bid to construct an Afghan national force capable of fighting the Taliban.

Those forces melted away with the fleeing of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani from Afghanistan – leaving the Taliban to take over major military assets.

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