AP PHOTOS: Taliban hardened by war now have to keep peace

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Shirullah Badri has been a Taliban fighter for most of his life. He paid a heavy price in the war, losing three brothers along with other relatives and friends. During that time, he had one focus: To expel foreign forces, especially the U.S., from Afghanistan.

Overnight on Aug. 15, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan became the Islamic Emirate, ruled by the Taliban. In this new era, Badri has a new mission: To keep the peace.

Badri, who is in his late 20s, was made chief of Kabul’s District 12 police station.

Under the Taliban’s watch, Afghanistan will be different, he says. Under the previous, internationally backed government, robberies and kidnappings were common. “In our government we won’t allow anyone to be involved in corruption,” he said.

In Kabul, the Taliban are ruling over a population eager for an end to crime and corruption. But many also fear the former insurgents will impose the same strict version of Islamic law they did last time in power, in the 1990s. That meant everything from hand amputations for thieves to beatings for those who cut their beards, removal of women from public life and banning of most music and entertainment.

In police districts across Kabul, young fighters emerging fresh from the battlefields are now patrolling the streets of the Afghan capital.

Some wear the uniforms left behind by the U.S.-assisted Afghan forces they deposed.

“As long as we live, we will be the Islamic Emirate,” Badri said.

Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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