Taliban spokesman says ‘we were not ready’ for new government

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Norwegian ambassador to Iran Sigvald Hauge has tweeted a picture of armed Taliban fighters inside the diplomatic base in the Afghan capital. The move to target an embassy of a European nation has done little to support the progressive image the terror group has attempted to portray to the West.

Mr Hauge tweeted: “Taliban has now taken over the Norwegian Embassy in Kabul.

“Say they will return it to us later. But first wine bottles are to be smashed and childrens’ books destroyed.

“Guns apparently less dangerous.”

The decision to remove western items comes amid fears of a return to an oppressive state.

The Taliban took over control of Afghanistan last month following the withdrawal of US forces from the region after 20 years.

Hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people, including women and children, fled the country on rescue flights from Kabul airport.

Details of the oppressive regime have already begun to emerge, with men and women reportedly segregated by a barrier at University.

Freedom of speech has also been under attack, with a ban imposed on all protests which have not been granted permission.

Over the weekend several innocent people were killed during celebratory gunfire from Taliban after the terror group took over control of the final province.

On Tuesday, the Taliban attempted to ratify its coup by announcing its provisional cabinet.

Many of the top posts have been handed to those who dominated the 20-year conflict with the West.

Interim Prime Minister Mullah Hasan Akhund led the Taliban government in Kabul during the last years of its rule and is on a UN blacklist.

Sirajuddin Haqqani, the country’s new interior minister, appears on the FBI’s most-wanted list with a reward of $10 million (£7.26 million) for his capture.

Other members are reported to have been previously held at Guantanamo Bay for terror offences.

The US State Department said it was “concerned by the affiliations and track records” of some of the senior leaders.

In a statement, the department added: “We will judge the Taliban by its actions, not words.

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“We have made clear our expectation that the Afghan people deserve an inclusive government.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: “The Taliban seek international legitimacy and support. Any legitimacy, any support, will have to be earned.”

Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said the UK will continue to judge the Taliban on their actions.

He told reporters: “Absolutely we would want to see, in any situation, a diverse group of leadership which seeks to address the pledges that the Taliban themselves set out, and that’s not what we have seen, and we will continue to judge them on their actions.”
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