Taliban spokesman takes selfies with locals in Mazar, Afghanistan

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A high-ranking Taliban official roamed the streets and took selfies with locals in an Afghan city on Tuesday.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid was seen mingling with residents of Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan’s fourth largest city, in Balkh province on September 14. The usually stoic deputy information minister wore a grin while talking with locals who took selfies with him on their phones.

Mujahid is part of the all-male interim government which the Taliban has announced last week. Senior Taliban officials, some of whom are blacklisted by the United Nations and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, will occupy top posts in the country’s cabinet.

Afghanistan’s new leadership will be headed by Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, one of the Taliban’s founders.

The international community slammed the Taliban’s announcement which belied the militant group’s earlier promise to form an inclusive government allowing women to participate in public affairs.

The future of women’s rights in Afghanistan has come into question following the Taliban takeover on August 15. Human rights advocates fear the return of restrictive and draconian policies enforced by the hardline Islamist group two decades ago.

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