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Taliban hold military parade with US-made weapons in Kabul in show of strength

On Sunday, Taliban forces held a military parade in the capital city of Kabul featuring American-made armored vehicles and Russian helicopters. The display showcased the Taliban’s ongoing transition from an insurgent force to a regular army. After taking over Afghanistan, the Taliban was able to obtain dozens of US-made M117 armored security vehicles, along with other American weapons. The Taliban operated as insurgent fighters for the past two decades, however, they have been able to bolster their military capabilities by using a large stock of weapons and equipment left behind by the Western-backed government during the collapse. The parade was linked to the graduation of 250 newly trained soldiers, according to a defense ministry spokesman.

Many of the soldiers in the parade carried American-made M4 assault rifles. Most of the equipment used by the Taliban forces now was supplied by Washington to government forces in Kabul in an attempt to construct an Afghan national force capable of fighting and defeating the Taliban. The Taliban announced that pilots, mechanics, and other specialists from the former Afghan National Army would be integrated into a new force. The Taliban military force has also begun sporting conventional military uniforms rather than the traditional Afghan garments normally worn by their fighters.

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