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Taliban announce new Government for Afghanistan

The Taliban have announced an interim government in Afghanistan, and declared the country an “Islamic Emirate”.

The government will be led by Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, one of the movement’s founders.

The interior minister will be a feared FBI-wanted leader of the Haqqani militant group.

The Taliban seized control of most of the country more than three weeks ago, ousting the previous elected leadership.

The announcement of the acting cabinet is a key step in the formation of a Taliban government.

“We know the people of our country have been waiting for a new government,” spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said, adding that the group had answered the people’s needs.

Sarajuddin Haqqani, the new acting interior minister, is head of the militant group known as the Haqqani network who are affiliated with the Taliban and have been behind some of the deadliest attacks in the country’s two-decade-long war.

Unlike the wider Taliban, the Haqqani network has been designated a foreign terrorist organisation by the US.

Other appointments include Mullah Yaqoob as acting defence minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi as acting foreign minister, and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Mullah Abdul Salam Hanafi as two deputies.

Yaqoob is the son of Taliban founder and late supreme leader Mullah Omar. Baradar was previously head of the Taliban’s political office, and oversaw the signing of the US withdrawal agreement last year.

Asked why no women were announced, Ahmadullah Wasiq, from the Taliban Cultural Commission, told the BBC’s Secunder Kermani that the cabinet had not been finalised yet. (Courtesy BBC)

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