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Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar returns to Afghanistan for first time in 10 years

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The Taliban said on Tuesday (August 17) one of its leaders and co-founders, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, had returned to Afghanistan for the first time in more than 10 years.

A group spokesperson said in a tweet Baradar, the chief of the Taliban’s political office, had arrived on in Kandahar along with a delegation.

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Video posted on Twitter by a spokesperson showed people exiting a plane and cheering around a man believed to be Baradar, with the video’s graphics saying he had arrived in Afghanistan from Qatar.

The video showed a Qatari C17 aircraft at Kandahar Airport. The location of the video was verified by Reuters comparing terrain data to the surrounding area. Flight tracking data also showed a Qatari C17 Globemaster plane matching the registration mark of the plane seen in the video flying in the vicinity of Kandahar Airport.

The video was uploaded on Tuesday, but the date of when the footage was shot could not be independently verified by Reuters.

Baradar was arrested in 2010 in Pakistan but was released from prison in 2018 at the request of former US President Donald Trump’s administration so he could participate in peace talks.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban's deputy leader and negotiator, and other delegation members attend the Afghan peace conference in Moscow, Russia March 18, 2021. (Reuters)
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban's deputy leader and negotiator, and other delegation members attend the Afghan peace conference in Moscow, Russia March 18, 2021. (Reuters)

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