On Tuesday in Khost, Afghanistan, presumably empty coffins were held in the air for mock funerals, as throngs of people in the surrounding area celebrated. Flags of countries involved in the recently-concluded evacuation efforts in the country draped each of the coffins.
During an interview with local television station Zhman TV, officials shed light on the mock funerals. In the interview, Taliban official Qari Saeed said, “August 31 is our formal Freedom Day. On this day, American occupying forces and NATO forces fled the country.”
The flags of NATO, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States each made an appearance at the celebration. In video footage of the event, each of the flag-adorned coffins were lined to form a sort of wall in front of the audience.
The showmanship appears to be playing well for the Taliban, as countless people are seen in attendance with phones aimed to capture the event. Besides those filming the mock funerals, armed individuals are seen interspersed throughout the crowds.
Taliban holds mock funeral of UK, US & NATO troops. pic.twitter.com/PV9Z9CbuI6
— A R S H I A – Mustashid Stan. (@arshiiARSHIA) September 1, 2021
Marketing with mock funerals
Reuters was among the first to break the story and stated that they could not verify all of the videos of the celebrations.
Withdrawal efforts concluded the day before these coffins made it to the streets. While the evacuation efforts allowed 123,000 people to flee the country, Taliban supporters seem unconcerned about that fact.
According to Al Jazeera, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said during a livestream video, that “The world should have learned its lesson and this is the enjoyable moment of victory.” While speaking to reporters at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Mujahid said Americans “could not achieve their goal through military operations.”