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Here’s a new reason to not take selfies with the Taliban

Say ‘civil war!’

The Taliban had just won its biggest victory since 2001, so the Islamist militants decided to celebrate like anyone else in 2015: By taking selfies.

When the Taliban recently captured Kunduz, a major northern Afghan city, photo proof was instantly shared on the world’s most popular social media networks thanks to the militants’ reported love of smartphones.

Afghan government forces have since recaptured the city and are now on the lookout for residents who took selfies with the Taliban during their two-week stay, according to Washington Post reporter Sayed Salahuddin. It’s not clear what exactly the government wants to do with residents who took selfies with the Taliban.

Some local Kunduz residents enthusiastically welcomed the Taliban fighters, taking selfies and posting gushing interview videos with the newly-arrived soldiers.

Reports say a significant number of locals had become disillusioned with the “corrupt” Afghan government, aiding a quick turn toward the Taliban.

News of the major military victory complemented with smiling selfies provided significant propaganda ammunition for the Taliban, even though its win lasted only about three days. The Islamist fighters were driven out of the city shortly thereafter by Afghan government troops.

Not all local residents welcomed Taliban fighters. The Afghan government reports over 20,000 families and as many as 100,000 individuals were displaced during the battle in Kunduz.

H/T Sayed Salahuddin | Photo via Twitter

Patrick Howell O'Neill

Patrick Howell O'Neill

Patrick Howell O'Neill is a notable cybersecurity reporter whose work has focused on the dark net, national security, and law enforcement. A former senior writer at the Daily Dot, O'Neill joined CyberScoop in October 2016. I am a cybersecurity journalist at CyberScoop. I cover the security industry, national security and law enforcement.