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Former kidnapper and suicide-bomb organiser is made governor of Kabul

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The aftermath of a suicide bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2019. Photo: AP

The aftermath of a suicide bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2019. Photo: AP

The aftermath of a suicide bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2019. Photo: AP

A Taliban commander with links to al-Qa’ida who was notorious for kidnapping foreign journalists and directing suicide attacks in the Afghan capital has been made governor of Kabul province.

Qari Baryal’s appointment was one of 44, including police chiefs, announced by the Taliban at the weekend, three months after they took power.

Mr Baryal was thought to have been killed in an American air strike more than a decade ago when the international military coalition described him as an “al-Qa’ida associated Taliban leader” and “an active attack planner”.

Instead he rose to be the chief of the Taliban’s northern zone and was responsible for attacks in and around Kabul.

He was also accused of kidnapping two French journalists and staging attacks, including by suicide bombers, on troops in Kapisa province.

The appointment is the latest in a series of promotions for vicious and hard-line commanders, which analysts suggest show the Taliban regime has little desire to become more moderate.

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Telegraph Media Group Limited [2021]


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