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Taliban celebrates completion of US withdrawal with heavy gunfire



The US military announced it has completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan after a brutal 20-year war — one that started and ended with the hardline Islamist Taliban in power, despite billions of dollars spent trying to rebuild the conflict-wracked country.

Celebratory gunfire rang out in Kabul in the early hours of Tuesday to mark the moment, which came after the fraught final days of a frantic mission to evacuate tens of thousands of Americans and Afghans who had helped the US-led war effort — and which left scores of Afghans and 13 US servicemembers dead in a suicide bombing last week.

That attack — claimed by the Islamic State’s Afghan offshoot — gave edgy urgency to the final days of the US-led effort to allow those seeking to flee Taliban rule out of the country.

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