As Taliban insurgents advance toward provincial capitals in Afghanistan, videos of several fighters playing on a swing set and slide in a children's park have gone viral on social media.
"Do it faster, faster, wow, wow!” a Taliban fighter says as he films his comrades swinging back and forth. “This park is ours. They [the Afghan government] enjoyed a lot of picnics, now it is our turn."
In another clip, people can be heard giggling as a man haltingly glides down a bright red spiral slide.
It was unclear where the videos were recorded and if they showed the same group of men at play.
Hundreds of Afghans commented on Twitter and on Facebook. Many said the videos are proof that decades of war has denied a generation of people such simple childhood pleasures.
Taliban swinging in a park somewhere in Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/xGMg4mVNXa— BILAL SARWARY (@bsarwary) July 9, 2021
Taliban fighters are seen in a children's park and are busy with kids games in one of the area that recently captured from Afghan Government in northern Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/chNrSrYPiK— Hamid Haidari (@Hamidhaideri) July 10, 2021
Living in fear
Others said that millions of Afghans are living in fear because fighters like these are waging a devastating war in the country.
The Taliban has taken control of more than a hundred districts since international forces started their withdrawal on 1 May.
In addition, they recently started attacks on the outskirts of several provincial capitals, but so far have been pushed back from taking control by Afghan security forces.
US President Joe Biden said on Friday that American troops will conclude their military mission in Afghanistan by the end of August.
Fears in Pakistan
On Sunday, Pakistani police said they have launched an investigation after funeral mourners for a religious leader in Peshawar (Pakistan) were filmed chanting pro-Taliban slogans and waving flags.
The incident on Saturday took place as international forces leave neighbouring Afghanistan.
There are fears the growing chaos and violence in that country, where Taliban insurgents are making major territorial gains, will spill over into Pakistan.