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Afghanistan turmoil

Taliban's exiled leaders return to form new Afghan government

'Nobody is going to knock on your doors,' spokesperson assures locals

Taliban co-founder and negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar attending an Afghan peace conference in Moscow on March 18. He and other key leaders have returned to Afghanistan following the Islamist group's takeover.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Fresh from their swift and dramatic conquest of Afghanistan, the Taliban are now hastening efforts to form a government as their exiled leaders return. Anxiety is deepening, however, that the militant Islamist group will return to the politics of fear they employed when they last ruled the bulk of the country 20 years ago.

Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and other key figures arrived at Afghanistan as of Wednesday, gathering at the group's longtime stronghold of Kandahar. Baradar heads the Taliban's political office in Qatar, and met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Tianjin in July.

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