Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark A. Milley deliver remarks about the end of the 20-year military mission in Afghanistan at the Pentagon, in Arlington, Va., on September 1. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 7 (UPI) -- The Taliban on Tuesday announced they have formed a new caretaker government in Afghanistan comprised of various members of the group, including one who's wanted by the U.S. government.
Haqqani network leader Sirajuddin Haqqani, who has a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head, was named acting interior minister for the new Afghan government. The Haqqani network is designated a terror group by U.S. officials and is believed to have been aligned with al-Qaida.
Other appointees are all veteran members of the Taliban. Mohammad Hassan Akhund will serve as interim prime minister and Abdul Ghani Baradar, a co-founder of the fundamentalist group, will be his deputy. One of the Taliban's deputy leaders, Mullah Yaqoob, will be the caretaker defense minister.
The nominations are the first official glimpses of who the Taliban will tab to run the government.
The Taliban made the announcement shortly after militants used force to disperse a protest by hundreds of women in Kabul demanding the rights they were afforded under the previous government.
Organizers said the demonstration was put together by Afghans aiming to form a national resistance movement to the Taliban.
"We invited people using social media platforms and there were more people than we expected," one organizer said, according to The New York Times. "We are expecting more rallies tonight because people do not want terror and destruction.
"The Taliban have had no achievements since they have taken power except for killing people and spreading terror. So it was an utterly self-motivated protest, and we just coordinated and invited people to participate."
When they were last in control of Afghanistan during the late 1990s, the Taliban forced women to completely cover themselves in clothing, hide their faces, refrain from attending school and stay inside their homes unless they had a male escort.