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Afghanistan turmoil

The return of the Taliban

A reporter witnesses history on a three-month journey through Afghanistan

Taliban fighters patrol Kabul on Thursday, the 102nd anniversary of independence from Britain. The militant group used the occasion to declare victory over the U.S.    © AP

KANDAHAR/BAGRAM AIR BASE/KABUL, Afghanistan -- Kabul airport had fallen quiet at the moment I left, but the chaos of upended lives lay all around me on the tarmac. In horrific scenes the previous day, people had clung to a U.S. transport plane as it moved to take off and at least two dropped to their deaths after it was airborne.

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