Taliban Rollerblades Through Kabul Streets
Video of Taliban Patrol Goes Viral
The Taliban appears to be taking a page straight out of a "Barbie Movie" as video footage uploaded to YouTube and circulating on social media shows AK-47-armed Taliban security forces patrolling the streets of Kabul on rollerblades.
The 22-minute video, uploaded by YouTuber Yadullah Marvi on Nov. 11, captures the unusual sight of Taliban fighters gliding through traffic on rollerblades. In some instances, the fighters can be seen "skitching," or grabbing onto a moving truck to be towed.
Marvi, who describes himself as a parkour athlete in the city, titled the video "The first part of the military performance of figure skating in the streets of Kabul." He also teased the release of future parts of the video.
Throughout the footage, the Taliban fighters display impressive skating skills, executing maneuvers such as "t-stops" and crossover skating. At one point, a fighter flips from direction to face backward while holding onto a truck.
All the Taliban fighters in the video donned camouflage uniforms, with many attaching black and white Velcro flags of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan — the formal name of the government installed by the Taliban after the US's departure, according to Task and Purpose.
As the skaters approached intersections and encountered traffic, they maneuvered skillfully by speeding ahead in the gaps between lanes to either stop cross traffic or compel drivers to clear a path for them. The video showcases the reactions of onlookers, many of whom captured the spectacle on their phones.
The video has since gone viral, garnering widespread attention and sparking a range of reactions on social media.
While some viewers found the sight entertaining, others expressed concern about the Taliban's ability to carry out security operations while on roller blades. Critics argue that such behavior undermines the seriousness of the group's role in governing the country.
The Taliban's unconventional choice of transportation underscores the challenges faced by the group as it seeks to establish control and legitimacy in Afghanistan. The rollerblading patrols may be an effort to project a more approachable and relatable image to the local population.
It remains to be seen whether the Taliban's rollerblading antics will be a one-time occurrence or a recurring feature of their security operations. Regardless, the video has left many intrigued and curious about what the future parts of Marvi's series will reveal.
As the Taliban continues to navigate its way through a delicate transition period, the rollerblading patrols serve as a reminder that even in times of conflict, unexpected moments of levity can emerge.