Taliban declares formation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

The Taliban has announced the creation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, less than a week after the country fell to the group.

In a Twitter post on Thursday, Zabiullah Mujahid, an official spokesman for the Taliban, announced the creation of a new state, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. He also shared an image in which the flag of the emirate appears to be combined with its coat of arms.

Mujahid also stated that the foundation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan comes 102 years after Britain relinquished control over the country. August 19 is celebrated as a national holiday in Afghanistan, commemorating its independence from the colonial superpower.

The Islamist organization has long used the name to refer to itself in official communications.

On Sunday, the militant group claimed control of Kabul as ousted president Ashraf Ghani fled, finding refuge in the United Arab Emirates. On Tuesday, in Ghani’s absence, First Vice President Amrullah Saleh said he was currently in the country and therefore, according to the constitution, the rightful leader.

On Tuesday evening, Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar returned to Afghanistan from his exile in the Qatari capital of Doha. Baradar was greeted warmly in the Taliban’s birthplace of Kandahar, with hundreds lining the streets to welcome the group’s most public figure and political leader.

Some believe he will be the country’s next president, although the illusive Haibatullah Akhundzada is considered the Taliban’s chief.

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