No guns in amusement parks, Taliban tell its fighters

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Feb 03, 2022, 01:52 PM IST

FILE PHOTO: Park visitors pose with Taliban fighters from Wardak province during their first visit to Kabul as they take a day off to visit the amusement park at Kabul's Qargha reservoir, at the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan October 8, 2021 Photograph:(Reuters)

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Taliban's instruction for its fighters to not not carry weapons to amusement parks is being seen as another attempt by the group to soften its image in Afghanistan and abroad

A Taliban spokesman said on Wednesday that group's fighters will no longer be allowed to carry their weapons to amusement parks in Afghanistan. It is being seen as another attempt by the group to soften their image.

Taliban fighters, many of whom have spent most of their lives in a 20-year insurgency against a US-backed government, flocked to amusement parks in Afghan cities in towns after they took over in August.

"Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate are not allowed to enter amusement parks with weapons, military uniforms and vehicles," the main Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said on Twitter.

"(They) are obliged to abide by all the rules and regulations of amusement parks."

The Taliban earned a reputation as uncompromising and often brutal enforcers of their strict ways then they last ruled, between 1996 and 2001.

However, after their recent power grab in August 2021, the group has made efforts to project a moderate face. The interim cabinet formed by the Taliban is grappling with a looming humanitarian crisis. Millions of dollars of funds, earmarked for Afghan central bank under the previous regime have been frozen internationally.

Of particular attraction for Taliban fighters was one of Kabul's largest amusement parks and a waterside park at the Qargha reservoir, in the city's western outskirts.

Fighters clutching automatic rifles queued for up carousel and swinging pirate ship rides - with regular visitors looking on nervously.

Most of the fighters Reuters spoke to then had never been to Kabul until the Taliban took control of the capital on Aug. 15, and some were eager to visit the amusement park before returning to duties around the country.

(With inputs from agencies)