UN Afghanistan mission extended

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The United Nation s Security Council extended a U.N. political mission in Afghanistan on Friday for six months to allow for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to work out what changes might be needed after the Taliban seized control of the country.

The annual mandate for the mission, known as UNAMA, was due to expire on Friday. A month ago the Taliban returned to power – 20 years after they were ousted by a U.S.-led campaign following the Sept. 11, 2001 al Qaeda attacks on the United States.

Taliban officials say they do not intend to repeat the harsh fundamentalist rule of 1996 to 2001, but have struggled to convince the outside world that they have really changed. They formed a male government of Taliban veterans and hardliners and there are widespread reports of human rights abuses.

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