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Afghanistan turmoil

In Kandahar, Taliban leader Akhundzada prepares new government

Economic woes deepen in Afghanistan as group seeks legitimacy abroad

New attire: Taliban fighters storm into the Kabul International Airport, wielding American supplied weapons, equipment and uniforms after the U.S. military completed their withdrawal, in Kabul, Afghanistan on  Aug. 31, 2021. (Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI -- The Taliban's elusive supreme leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada has been huddling with his battle-tested deputies in Kandahar, preparing to launch a new government in Afghanistan as the group celebrates the departure of U.S. forces.

"He is present in Kandahar, and has been in discussions with several leaders toward the launch of a new government," a Taliban spokesman told Nikkei, referring to the supreme leader.

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