Taliban fighters paraded through a northwest Afghan city in a show of strength at the weekend, days after reinforcements were sent to quell unrest over the detention of a popular commander.
Protests erupted last week in Maymana, capital of Faryab province, after an Uzbek Taliban commander was detained for alleged links to a kidnapping plot.
The unrest sparked fears of tensions between Uzbek and Pashtun civilians and Taliban fighters, with unconfirmed reports that members of both ethnic groups had been killed in isolated clashes.
“We deployed hundreds of forces from neighbouring provinces and the situation is under control now,” Latifullah Hakimi, a senior defence ministry official, told AFP at the weekend.
Sunday’s parade included columns of masked fighters clad in matching white shalwar kameez tunics, khaki combat vests, and headscarves inscribed with the Muslim declaration of faith.