Taliban Suppress More Dissent As Economic Challenges Loom

Taliban fighters display their flag on patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. The Taliban celebrated Afghanistan's Independence Day on Thursday by declaring they beat the United States, but challenges to their rule ranging from running a country severely short on cash and bureaucrats to potentially facing an armed opposition began to emerge. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

(AP) — The Taliban violently dispersed scattered protests for a second day as they moved to consolidate their rule less than a week after seizing power.

Experts, meanwhile, warned that Afghanistan’s already weakened economy could crumble further without the massive international aid that sustained the toppled Western-backed government.

The Taliban have sought to project moderation and say they want good relations with the international community. But they will face a difficult balancing act in making concessions to the West, satisfying their own hard-line followers and suppressing dissent.

A U.N. official warned of dire food shortages, and experts said the country was severely in need of cash.


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