Statue of anti-Taliban hero blown up in Afghanistan's Bamiyan: residents

Statue of anti-Taliban hero blown up in Afghanistan's Bamiyan: residents
2 min read
18 August, 2021
A statue of a prominent anti-Taliban fighter killed by the group before they took power for the first time in the 1990s has been decapitated in Bamiyan city.
The statue was of an anti-Taliban fighter [Getty]

A statue of a prominent anti-Taliban fighter killed by the group before they took power for the first time in the 1990s has been decapitated in Bamiyan city, residents said Tuesday.

"We are not sure who has blown up the statue (of Abdul Ali Mazari), but there are different groups of Taliban present here, including some... who are known for their brutality," a resident told AFP, asking not to be named.

Tens of thousands of people have tried to flee the country to escape the hardline Islamist rule expected under the Taliban, or fearing direct retribution for siding with the Western-backed government in power for the past two decades.

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But Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told reporters the new regime would be "positively different" from their 1996-2001 stint at the helm, infamous for deaths by stoning and barring women from working in contact with men.

"If the question is based on ideology, and beliefs, there is no difference... but if we calculate it based on experience, maturity, and insight, no doubt there are many differences," Mujahid told reporters.

"All those in the opposite side are pardoned from A to Z," he said. "We will not seek revenge."

Mujahid said a government would soon be formed but offered few details, only saying the Taliban would "connect with all sides".

He also said they were "committed to letting women work in accordance with the principles of Islam", without offering specifics.