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Kabul’s style-conscious are replaced with shalwar kameez – but Taliban hold onto designer items


Young Taliban fighters have been called out for their hypocrisy as they parade through the streets in sunglasses, trendy trainers and baseball caps while cracking down on western dress. 

During their first stint in power – from 1996 until 2001 – the Taliban were unkempt, hirsute and dressed in austere, traditional dress. 

But today’s fighters – who have been ironically dubbed ‘Taliban 2.0’ for their media charm offensive and empty claims of taking a more progressive view of women – have adopted a far more modern, westernised way of dress.

Photographs taken in the capital in the last few days have shown fighters wearing aviator sunglasses, baseball caps and merchandise adorned with the Taliban flag. 

Some have gone so far as to abandon a beard in favour of being clean-shaven.  

It has led social media users to mock the fighters as ‘avant-garde’ fashion victims working with ‘designers’ to create their looks – even as they set about cracking down on western dress.  

Young Taliban fighters have been called out for their hypocrisy as they parade through the streets in sunglasses, trendy trainers and baseball caps while cracking down on western dress

Meanwhile others were photographed in baseball caps, hightop trainers and patterned waistcoats as they patrolled through the city

During their first stint in power – from 1996 until 2001 – the Taliban were unkempt, hirsute and dressed in austere, traditional dress. Pictured, a Taliban fighter in a personalised hat 

The cap appeared to feature the Taliban flag, indicating the group have created merchandise for their fighters to wear

The cap appeared to feature the Taliban flag, indicating the group have created merchandise for their fighters to wear 

Photographs taken in the capital in the last few days have shown fighters wearing aviator sunglasses, baseball caps and merchandise adorned with the Taliban flag

Photographs taken in the capital in the last few days have shown fighters wearing aviator sunglasses, baseball caps and merchandise adorned with the Taliban flag

One commented: ‘Looks like the Taliban have also hired a fashion designer to dress them. They’re showing all signs of super villains. As everyone has failed, there’s only one man left to do the job @AustinPowers.’

Another added: ‘Is this a Talib or someone who escaped from a Paris avant-garde catwalk?’

One added: ‘Really loving the latest Taliban fashion trends.’ 

The comments have been seen as a form of protest from people around the world who want to undermine the terror group as they continue their crackdown on Afghanistan.  

In photographs taken in the capital in recent days, fighters can be seen wearing traditional shalwar kameez in bright and colourful fabrics. 

Many have paired the garment with trendy trainers while others have worn baseball caps and scarves adorned with the Taliban flag instead of a traditional turban. 

In one photograph shared on Twitter, a fighter can be seen wearing aviator sunglasses, with a bandana tied around his head,  and wearing a full length orange robe. 

Defiant social media users have been mocking the Taliban for their outfits, with many suggesting they 'looked like hippies'

Defiant social media users have been mocking the Taliban for their outfits, with many suggesting they ‘looked like hippies’ 

The shift is particularly striking in a city known for its embrace of fashion and a western-style of dress. 

Just days ago, a journalist Clarissa Ward gave her report with her hair and neck uncovered, but on Monday, she wore a black shawl wrapped tightly around her head as per the Islamists’ demands.

Ward was surrounded by fighters after the Afghan capital fell to the terrorists who the U.S. and Nato fought for two decades after the 9/11 attacks.

Her change in style comes after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan’s 20-year war, as thousands of people mobbed the city’s airport trying to flee the group’s feared hardline brand of Islamist rule.  

It comes as the ‘moderate’ Taliban started tarring alleged thieves and strapping them to trucks to be paraded through Kabul, fired at crowds trying to escape to the US-controlled airport and going house-to-house to round up looters.

The so-called ‘Angels of Salvation’ are dragging suspected robbers from their homes and lining the up against the walls with guns trained at them after looting broke out across Kabul after the Taliban toppled the government.

Footage shows an alleged car thief with his face covered in black tar and strapped up to the back of a truck, with his hands tied behind his back as people gather around to gawp.

A traffic cop stands nearby and waves through traffic, seemingly unperturbed or unable to prevent the rough justice as commotion builds around the accused man.

Other footage shows Taliban fighters outside Kabul airport wielding AK-47s and rocket launchers, marching towards the terrified crowds and firing warning shots into the air. 

It comes as the 'moderate' Taliban started tarring alleged thieves and strapping them to trucks to be paraded through Kabul, fired at crowds trying to escape to the US-controlled airport and going house-to-house to round up looters

It comes as the ‘moderate’ Taliban started tarring alleged thieves and strapping them to trucks to be paraded through Kabul, fired at crowds trying to escape to the US-controlled airport and going house-to-house to round up looters

Taliban gunmen have now surrounded the airport - the only route out of Afghanistan for thousands of refugees stranded in the capital and nearby provinces - and are checking the documents of those trying to reach it

Taliban gunmen have now surrounded the airport – the only route out of Afghanistan for thousands of refugees stranded in the capital and nearby provinces – and are checking the documents of those trying to reach it

One fighter appeared to be wearing heeled loafers (right) while others wore colourful ensembles (left)

One fighter appeared to be wearing heeled loafers (right) while others wore colourful ensembles (left)

One fighter appeared to be wearing heeled loafers (right) while others wore colourful ensembles (left)

Many of the Taliban fighters donned colourful, patterned waistcoats in photographs taken in the capital

Many of the Taliban fighters donned colourful, patterned waistcoats in photographs taken in the capital 

Their brutal repression has been recounted by a 21-year-old woman who was working as a teacher in Kandahar before it fell. She described how she had fled to Kabul but now lived in fear that the Taliban will soon come knocking on her door.

She told Radio 4: ‘When the Taliban attacked and captured Kandahar we were unable to live anymore, because of the shooting, the bombing and the killing of innocent civilians.

Meanwhile Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman, claimed on Tuesday ‘there is a huge difference between us and the Taliban of 20 years ago’ – when female Afghans were beaten in the street or publicly executed, denied work, healthcare and an education, and barred from leaving home without a male chaperone. 

But despite his claims video emerged today showing terrified women at the gates to Kabul airport pleading with US troops to let them through, wailing: ‘The Taliban are coming.’ 

The women were seen reaching their hands through iron railings towards the soldiers while screaming in the video which was shared widely on Afghan social media accounts this morning.

Taliban gunmen have now surrounded the airport – the only route out of Afghanistan for thousands of refugees stranded in the capital and nearby provinces – and are checking the documents of those trying to reach it.

Islamist fighters were funnelling people towards a gate on the airport’s civilian south side, demanding documents before occasionally allowing someone to pass. 

Each time the gate opened, dozens tried to rush inside – with gunshots fired to keep them back.



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