Fleeing Afghans sell their wares at Kabul’s bazaars

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Kabul’s flea markets are packed with the belongings that desperate Afghans have sold at rock-bottom prices to fund their escape from Taliban rule, or just to pay for food.

Plates, glasses, and kitchen appliances are piled high on makeshift tables at the outdoor bazaars, alongside 1990s television sets and old Singer sewing machines, while rolled-up carpets are propped up on second-hand sofas and beds.

Since the Taliban stormed to power in mid-August, Afghans say job opportunities have dried up and they are only allowed to withdraw $200 per week from their bank accounts, meaning cash is in short supply.

“We don’t have anything to eat, we are poor and we are forced to sell these things,” said Mohammad Ehsan, who lives in one of Kabul’s hillside settlements and came to the bazaar lugging two blankets to sell.

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