In the war-ravaged birthplace of the Taliban, new hope is born

World

In the war-ravaged birthplace of the Taliban, new hope is born

Exhausted by 40 years of fighting, many say they will cautiously welcome a deal letting the group back into government

Ben Farmer

Every phase of Afghanistan’s four decades of war has left traces around the rocky Ghargi police outpost overlooking the Panjwayi district in Kandahar.

Rusting tanks sinking into the stony slopes date to when Soviet troops battled Mujahideen in the surrounding orchards and vineyards. A brief drive away is Sangisar, the birthplace of the Taliban, where Mullah Omar first raised his militia of religious students to fight the warlords who thrived after the Russians left.

More recent sandbagged trenches and bullet-pocked buildings date to when Western troops fought the Taliban...

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