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tv   Our World Return of the Taliban  BBC News  August 14, 2021 1:30pm-2:01pm BST

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hello, this is bbc news, the headlines. labour says there are questions for devon and cornwall police about why it chose to return a shotgun licence to the man who killed five people in plymouth. how on earth do you get a gun licence in the first place? what background checks were done? i am glad there is the investigation already and to why the license was returned, i do think there are wider questions. the afghan president says his top priority is boosting the armed forces, in his first national address since the taliban stepped up their offensive. translation: our dear country afghanistan is in serious danger| of instability due to the war. the reintegration of the security and defence forces is our priority.
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we are taking serious measures to deal with this. as taliban insurgents continue their advance in afghanistan, us troops prepare for a massive airlift of civilians from kabul. flash flooding in turkey kills at least 31 people — as southern europe records one of the hottest summers ever. now on bbc news... our world — yalda hakim reports from afghanistan. as american and allied forces withdraw, the country is now at risk of falling to the taliban. 20 years since 9/11 and the invasion of afghanistan american troops are finally leaving. but since news of the withdrawal, targeted killings and suicide attacks have increased. the taliban are back and rapidly gaining ground against government forces.
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many people fear there will be a return to the brutal regime of the �*90s. taliban leaders in doha say they have changed, and want to find a solution to the conflict. there was, in the past, some mistakes we have learned from. in this 2—part series i'll be trying to find out if they are serious about peace, and what is at stake for ordinary afghans. there is no way i can surrender to the taliban, none, no way. i was born in afghanistan and have been reporting from the region for more than a decade. after two years away, i was on my way to meet
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with an old friend, the photojournalist massoud husseini. i was surprised to find out he was living in hiding, barely leaving his house. i am staying here, actually. here is just to show you where i live. here is my bed. i made it as a kitchen, and that's it. that's your life? yeah. all the time here, all the time. massoud's parents left afghanistan when he was a small child. after the us invasion in 2001, he decided to return and take part in the rebuilding of the nation. one of my favourite pictures when i came to afghanistan, this is the second day, the morning of the second day that i arrived in kabul.
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and this picture gave me a lot of hope. i thought that we were going to be a normal country, normal society. girls can do this, they can come to the cultural events like this. but did your wishes come true, to some extent, coming back to afghanistan, being so active and involved? yeah, well, that is something that i felt as a responsibility to do for my country, you know? but i think that it never come true. in 2011, massoud photographed the suicide bombing of a shia shrine. his photo was a stark warning to the world that the gains that had been made in afghanistan since 2001 could easily be wiped away. it still is too much painful.
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i mean, it's haunting, that image of the young girl amongst her family. mm. the same year massoud took that picture, president barack 0bama announced the withdrawal of tens of thousands of american troops from the country. over the next few years, the taliban gained in strength and influence. afghans like massoud started to see attacks against civilians become more common. in 2018, massoud narrowly avoided two assassination attempts on his life. in the first, his car was riddled with bullets. in the second attempt, a suicide bomber had targeted a group of journalists. i was clicking, right, my camera. the explosion happened from left to right in my view of the camera, in my frame. massoud lost nine of his friends and colleagues in the blast.
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that attack was completely and exactly against journalists. the only chance in luck that i had, i was 10m away. that said, otherwise we were all being killed there. and because of remembering this time of my life, if i die or not, i kind of plant those trees for reminding this, whenever happens, these trees will be there. i find it extraordinary that you are saying, "whenever i die, this should remain a reminder," because you feel it's just something hanging over you. well, i see this because those who i know, right, i knew, those journalists, and i knew about their dreams and their plans for their life, they've been killed so easily, so i will be another
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one, right? but i did my, i mean, responsibility for my own homeland. i was fall in love with afghanistan through my work, through photography and i did, i don't know how we can say english...speaks pashto. "you are loyal." i was loyal for my own country and i did my best. seeing massoud confined to four walls was a sign of the growing taliban resurgence. but it's notjustjournalists who feel threatened. with allied troops on their way out and a taliban staging ever more brazen attacks, wide sectors of afghan society now fear for their lives. we saw an increase in attacks, religious scholars, journalists. human rights activists. they were notjust engaged
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in work, they were fighting in war, they were fighting for peace and they are being killed. shahrzad akbar is the chairperson of the afghan independent human rights commission which investigates human rights abuses in afghanistan. do you have anything you can do where you can relax or you just home in the office? home in the office maybe. dealing with my son. keeps you very busy? it keeps me injoy. i have one that is obsessed with trains. everything is about trains. as you say, they do bring a lot ofjoy, yes. but also, constant worry. yeah. you know? yeah, i sometimesjoke, i am only a mum at home. he plays in front of the complex we live in every day. sometimes i arrive, he asks me to walk with him,
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he will cry if i go upstairs, and i just stay for a few minutes very nervously, wearing my mask, hoping people will see not him, but me. people know who i am, but i just don't want to know he is my son. if people know, they might hurt him. it's an incomplete experience. shahrzad's fears are justified. last summer, a bomb attack killed two of her colleagues, fatima khalil and jawad folad. when they were on their way to work, an explosion blew up and killed them both. not instantly, i believe.
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i know that peace might come to afghanistan, i know it might come, insha'allah, but all these people have lost their children, their lives have changed forever, their lives have changed forever. i wonder, when you leave home every day, every morning, you say goodbye to your child. do you think, "i may not come back"? the field that i work in, it's notjust me, it's my colleagues as well and every morning when they leave the home, they don't know they will be back. it's the same for me, when i leave in the morning, i don't know if i will see my family. since i became a mum, there is always this doubt. "do i have the right to do this?" because there is someone
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else�*s life at stake. targeted killings are part of a new form of warfare that has taken root in afghanistan. fatima and jawad were two of over 700 people assassinated in 2020 across the country. every time we are stuck in traffic, there is a certain worry. it's so tense here. everything is on edge, that maybe the car in front of you might explode, next to you, or there might be some kind of targeted killing. it is an absolutely precarious and uncertain situation. i wanted to put some questions about the security situation directly to the government, as they seem to be struggling to keep a hold of the security in the areas they control. i approach the vice—president, amrullah saleh, a man with a long and personal history with the taliban, having fought them directly in the �*90s, becoming intelligence chief
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in the early 20005. let me show you some of the pictures of my kids. when i was intelligence chief, i used to take them to the office with me. this is my son. who was in the car with you? my son. i said so we are alive and i am glad you are with me because this is patriotism, earned the hard way. one year ago, the vice president and his son narrowly avoided an attempt on his life after his convoy was struck by a roadside bomb. not long after this, mr saleh set up daily security briefings at 6:30am each morning in a bid to stem the violence consuming kabul. these briefings have taken place every morning for the past 200 days. if you want you could join me.
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vice president saleh gave us rare access to attend one of the meetings. if you think about kabul city, i have come back after several years, people are saying to me they can't leave their house at night, women don't feel safe, people don't feel safe, there are different militia groups in the city. how has it come to this? those problems were there before the 6:30 meetings. have you thwarted many attacks as a result? we have foiled 850 attacks in 200 days. those that have gone off, yes, failures, but 850 have been stopped. this is my chief of staff. nice meeting you.
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the first speaker at the security briefing was halima karimi, mp for the remote province of wolesijirga, who had come to demand answers from the security services following the murder of her brother.
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what i heard in the meeting was shocking. the vice president was determined that i don'tjust take his word for it. he arranged for us to get access to the prisons and speak directly with some of the recently detained taliban suspects. we have just arrived at the headquarters of the national directorate of security. we have been promised that we can meet some prisoners
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accused of being behind some of the targeted killings of civil society and journalists. you can't see it now, but we are in a heavily fortified area. once we had made it inside the compound, the prison guards presented us with a series of taliban recruits, who stood accused of committing attacks against a range of targets, from government officials, journalists, and even schoolgirls. can they not be standing there? can we shut the door? it was important that i spoke to the prisoners alone. could you please tell me why you are in this prison? as the interviews went on, i realised these people were far from terrorist masterminds.
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he was understandably keen to demonstrate the success his security forces were having
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in capturing taliban fighters. but it was hard for me to tell under such pressure from the guards whether or not the willingness of these three prisoners to speak with me was sincere, and if they could give me the whole story. one person who i wanted to speak to again was the mp halima karimi, who had spoken at the security meeting. the only woman in the room, she had come to the meeting to petition the vice president over the lack of investigation into her brother's murder.
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in response to the mp�*s accusations, the amrullah saleh�*s office has said the investigation into the murder is still ongoing. people here aren't asking for very much, they are asking for the basic human rights,
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to be able to leave their homes every morning and to know that they will return alive, to have dinner with their families, to be able to come to parks like this and have a picnic with their relatives and friends and family. and frankly, right now, that's a long way off. after my meeting with halima karimi, i got a call from massoud, saying he was at a rare outing to take photos at a local hilltop. there is no certainty at all, nothing basically, and everybody on the air now, they don't know what to do. but you can't give up? it's one of those things were people have no choice. they can't give up because they don't have choice, that's true, but having no choice doesn't mean hope.
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they have to live in this situation, they have to. that's it. i have met with a wide range of afghans. human rights activist, journalists, government officials, and men suspected of killing for the taliban cause. i'm left with a sense that ordinary afghans are caught up in a war that nobody can hide from. somehow, there is still a glimmer of hope. in doha, talks are ongoing over a possible peace deal between the taliban and the government. next time, i will be meeting with senior taliban officials and commanders from the front line in a bid to understand what lies ahead for afghanistan. are the taliban ready to compromise? or will they take the country by force?
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hello, mixed fortunes this weekend, for some sunshine which will keep for some sunshine which will keep for a time into tomorrow but for others cloud and rain. this was northamptonshire earlier, blue sky and sunshine, different actual across the scottish borders, cloud and drizzle and in the west of scotland some blustery showers continuing to work east. from the south and area of low pressure, slow—moving with us for much of the weekend, bringing rain into parts of wales, north—west england, the
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midlands quite patchy, but through this afternoon pushing north into northern ireland so replacing the morning sunshine here. continuing into an north—west england and may be the north—east little, frequent showers pushing east across scotland but on either side of the cloud and rain there should be breaks to allow some sunshine, the best i crossed east anglia and south—east england with the highest temperatures. more likely high teens with the cloud and rain. the cloud and rain continuing north and east overnight, fizzling with patchy rain across the northeast, showers confined to northern scotland, clouding over later across the south—west with patchy rain, mild for many but could touch a single figures across the far north of england into scotland. tomorrow the frontal system, slow—moving and bringing more cloud but tied and will be patchy rain, initially across parts of wales and south—west england but also northern england and northern ireland,
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frequent travels across northern scotland but elsewhere mainly dry in scotland but elsewhere mainly dry in scotland and when we have had the cloud through the morning at should defend and break across the uk to bring spells of sunshine away from the cloudier zone across northern england and quite cool across the northern isles and the far north of northern isles and the far north of northern ireland. easing through tomorrow evening, she was going across the far north of scotland and into monday we will feel the effect of the north—westerly winds cool air flooding across the uk, starting the new beak fairly quiet with a lot of cloud particularly at further west bringing drizzle, sunshine further east and highest temperatures may be 20 or 21 but add in the wind and it will feel cooler than recently. for the week ahead fairly quiet, mostly dry aside from occasional showers, lots of cloud on wednesday.
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this is bbc news with the latest headlines... labour says there are questions for devon and cornwall police about why it chose to return a shotgun licence to the man who killed five people in plymouth. how on earth did he get a gun licence in the first place? what gran checks were done? i am glad there is the investigation is under way about why it was returned. there are wider questions here. —— what background checks were done? —— what background checks were done? afghanistan's president says his top priority is boosting the armed forces, in his first national address since the taliban stepped up their offensive. translation: our dear country is in dancer of translation: our dear country is in danger of instability _ translation: our dear country is in danger of instability and _ translation: our dear country is in danger of instability and the - danger of instability and the security forces and the stability
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thereof is our top

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