Afghans reflect on mixed fortunes since 9/11

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Afghans reflect on mixed fortunes since 9/11

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Just a month after the September 11 attacks, America and its allies invaded Afghanistan to oust the Taliban regime.

The airstrikes took in Kabul and some damage is still visible around the capital.

For some, the changes have been positive — 25-year-old Robina Jalali has since competed in two Olympics. She says she enjoys freedoms denied to her under the Taliban and has stood for election.

“Before, we were scared of people, the opposition and the Taliban, but fortunately today we have our people beside us to stand up and fight against any obstacles ahead of us.”

Someone with a different perspective is Saheb Dad. He lost two of his children in a US air strike at the start of the war. They were aged 12 and two. He recovered their dead bodies from under the rubble of his house.

“Changes? The situation in Afghanistan is getting worse day by day. At the beginning we had hoped that the sacrifices we made would bring peace to Afghanistan, but nothing happened,” he says.

Civilian casualties are still one of the main grievances and causes for concern. As for 9/11, some US soldiers in Helmund say they do not allow it to affect their mission.

“It is a part of history. Yeah, of course we think about it, but one thing is, it is not something that we base everything upon, at least not personally; not my guys I know. We are here to do a job,” said Lance Corporal Jeremy Lezama.

The US military has lost more soldiers in Afghanistan than it did in Iraq – more than 1,600 since 2001, according to the AP news agency.