Footage of the Sunday incident, which was shared on Twitter and swiftly amassed over one million views, showed an Afghan TV anchor with gun-toting Taliban members alongside him.
The video was recorded at the Afghan TV network Peace Studio and comes just weeks after the United States abruptly withdrew from Afghanistan — allowing the Taliban to regain power, nearly 20 years after the US came into the country in the wake of 9/11.
BBC’s Yalda Hakim tweeted a video clip of the news report on Sunday afternoon and wrote: “Afghanistan TV – surreal.
“This is what a political debate now looks like on Afghan TV, Taliban foot soldiers watching over the host.
“The presenter talks about the collapse of the Ghani govt & says the Islamic Emirate says the Afghan people should not to be afraid #Afghanistan.”
Kian Sharifi, a BBC Monitoring journalist fluent in the Dari dialect of Persian, said the show is a political debate programme called Pardaz, and that the anchor was forced to say the Islamic Emirate – the Taliban’s preferred name – wants the public to “cooperate with it and should not be afraid”.
During the 42-second clip, it seemed as if the news presenter was being stared down by the two militants standing on each side of him.
The Taliban militants reportedly stormed the TV station and urged the anchor to talk with them — as US officials said a terrorist suicide squad on its way to carry out a second attack on Kabul airport was wiped out in a drone strike.
However, it is not clear exactly when the footage was filmed.
Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad called on President Joe Biden to watch the footage and “let us know if these militants posing behind this visibly petrified TV host are holding American weapons.”
Alongside the video clip retweeted by Alinejad, the journalist and activist wrote: “This is surreal. Taliban militants are posing behind this visibly petrified TV host with guns and making him to say that people of #Afghanistan shouldn’t be scared of the Islamic Emirate.
“Taliban itself is synonymous with fear in the minds of millions. This is just another proof.”
That same day, US officials said a car carrying several ISIS-K terrorists and packed with explosives was hit in the strike amid unconfirmed local reports that up to nine civilians were also killed.
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