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Afghanistan turmoil

Taliban 2.0, one year on: Afghanistan withers under iron-fist rule

Sanctions-hit economy at standstill as specter of terrorism haunts nation

A Taliban fighter stands guard at a livestock market in Kabul on July 8. The country has fallen into a severe economic crisis during the group's first year back in power.   © Reuters

ISLAMABAD -- One full year into Taliban rule, Afghanistan faces a grim outlook under an increasingly harsh regime and crippling economic sanctions.

On Aug. 15, 2021, as U.S.-led forces withdrew from the country and its Western-backed government collapsed, the Islamist group seized power in Kabul. Since then, the Taliban have focused on imposing hardline policies similar to those seen during the group's first brutal regime, which lasted from 1996 until the U.S. invasion in 2001.

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