Taliban mark Afghan independence as challenges to rule rise

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Taliban fighters pose for photograph in Wazir Akbar Khan in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. The Taliban declared an “amnesty” across Afghanistan and urged women to join their government Tuesday, seeking to convince a wary population that they have changed a day after deadly chaos gripped the main airport as desperate crowds tried to flee the country. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – The Taliban are celebrating Afghanistan’s Independence Day by declaring they have beaten the United States. But challenges to their rule ranging from running a country severely short on cash and bureaucrats to potentially facing an armed opposition are beginning to emerge.

Many ATMs are out of cash and there are worries about rising food prices in this nation of 38 million people reliant on imports. The Taliban face all the challenges of the civilian government they dethroned without the level of international aid it enjoyed. Meanwhile, opposition figures talk of launching an armed resistance. Still, it was not clear how serious a threat they posed given that the militants overran nearly the entire country in a matter of days.

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