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Afghan prime minister defends Taliban's rule amid crisis

Afghanistan's Taliban prime minister defended the group's rule in a public address Saturday, saying it was not to blame for a worsening economic crisis and is working to repair the corruption of the ousted government. He also dismissed international pressure for the formation of a more inclusive Cabinet.

FILE - In this Aug. 25, 1999 file photo, Mullah Hasan Akhund, right, then Afghanistan's Foreign Minister is received by then Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in Islamabad. The Taliban on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, announced a caretaker Cabinet that paid homage to the old guard of the group, giving top posts to Taliban personalities who dominated the 20-year battle against the U.S.-led coalition and its Afghan government allies. Akhund who was named Interim Afghan Prime Minister on Tuesday, headed the Taliban government in Kabul during the last years of its rule. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash, File)

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This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, orange, emerging from the surface of cells, green, cultured in the lab. (NIAID-RML via AP)