Taliban fighters sighted in pedal boats on Lake Afghanistan


They take out their favorite guns on the water.

More than two dozen Taliban fighters, armed with rocket launchers and assault rifles, were seen on Saturday in colorful swan-themed pedal boats in Band-e Amir National Park in Bamiyan province, eastern Afghanistan.

In one of the photos shared on twitter by journalist Jake Hanrahan, a Taliban fighter appears to be aiming at a rocket-propelled grenade.

The deep blue lakes in the heart of the country had been seen as a relative haven of peace before the militant group’s takeover last month.

“This park serves as an icon for the identity of the Afghan people for essentially a beacon of stability during the three decades of chaos it has been through,” Alex Dehgan, formerly of the Wildlife Conservation Society, told CNN in 2019.

James Willcox, founder of UK-based travel company Untamed Borders, said it was once safe enough to bring groups of visitors.

Taliban forces requisitioned pedal boats in Bamyan province in Band-e Amir National Park.

“Whenever we take people away [to Band-e-Amir], they’re having a great day, ”Willcox told CNN at the time.

“Most people feel that Afghanistan is a dry wasteland, full of just war, terror, misery and fundamentalism. While all of these things exist, but a lot of other things exist as well… The general kind of banality in life doesn’t happen on the news, but it continues all around us.

The new Afghan leadership has experienced growing conflict with the even more extreme ISIS-K, which has a stronghold in the eastern province of Nangarhar.

The lakes were seen as a safe haven in Afghanistan before the Taliban took power in August 2021.
The lakes were seen as a safe haven in Afghanistan before the Taliban took power in August 2021.

Saturday’s explosions in the city of Jalalabad left three people dead, at least some of whom were members of the Taliban.

Protests are also taking place across the country in response to the Taliban’s new ban on returning to school for girls.


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