Taliban flag rises over seat of power 20 years after 9/11
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The Taliban raised their flag over the Afghan presidential palace Saturday, a spokesman said, as the U.S. and the world marked the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
The white banner, emblazoned with a Quranic verse, was hoisted by Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, the prime minister of the Taliban interim government, in a low-key ceremony, said Ahmadullah Muttaqi, multimedia branch chief of the Taliban's cultural commission. The flag-raising marked the official start of the work of the new government, he said. The composition of the all-male, all-Taliban government was announced earlier this week and was met with disappointment by the international community which had hoped the Taliban would make good on an earlier promise of an inclusive lineup. MASSACHUSETTS MARINE KILLED BY AFGHAN BOMB RETURNS HOME ON 9/11 Two decades ago, the Taliban ruled Afghanistan with a heavy hand. Television was banned, and on Sept. 11, 2001, the day of the horrific attacks on America, the news spread from crackling radios across the darkened streets of the Afghan capital of Kabul. The city rarely had electricity and barely a million people lived in Kabul at the time. It took the U.S.-led coalition just two months to drive the Taliban from the capital and by Dec. 7, 2001, they were defeated, driven from their last holdout in southern Kandahar, their spiritual heartland. Twenty years later, the Taliban are back in Kabul. America has departed, ending its 'forever war' two weeks before 20 years marking 9/11 and two weeks after the Taliban returned to the Afghan capital on Aug. 15. Some things have changed since the first period of Taliban…