After 20 years of liberty, female education is once again threatened by hardline Islamists
Outside a college from which their mothers were banned, the women waited for friends finishing exams they fear will be some of the last they can take. “The Americans are leaving,” said Basireh Heydari, a Herat University student. “We have terrible days ahead with the Taliban. I’m worried they won’t let me leave the house, let alone what I’m doing now.”
The Biden administration’s decision to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by 11 September will bring an end to the US’s longest war. With Nato allies such as Germany already announcing on Wednesday that they will follow Washington’s lead and exit the country, Afghans fear an intensification of fighting between the national government and the Taliban, who were ousted by the US-led intervention two decades ago.