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Journalists from the Etilaatroz newspaper, Taqi Daryabi, 22, video editor, left, and Nemat Naqdi, 28, a video journalist, after being detained by the Taliban on Sept. 8, 2021. Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times

The Taliban over the last two days have detained and later released at least 14 journalists covering protests in Kabul, according to various news reports and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Why it matters: The journalists' detention undermines the Taliban's vague assurances that they have changed since the tight grip they ruled with in the 1990s, Axios' Dave Lawler reports.

Driving the news: At least six of the journalists experienced violence during their arrest or detention and other journalists, including some from the BBC's team, were prevented from filming protests, per the BBC.

  • The Taliban detained and severely beat two journalists with the daily newspaper Etilaatroz, per the newspaper and the Los Angeles Times.
  • Taliban fighters also surrounded two reporters with the LA Times and lunged at one of the journalists' cameras. A Taliban leader reportedly told the journalists that photographing protests was "illegal," per the LA Times.
  • The Taliban also detained journalists and producers from EuroNews, TOLO news, Afghan Notes and a local broadcasting station, per the CPJ, citing various news reports.

What they're saying: "The Taliban must immediately cease detaining journalists in Afghanistan, end the use of violence against them, and allow the media to operate freely and without fear of reprisal," the CPJ said.

The big picture: After their swift takeover of Afghanistan last month, the Taliban said that girls can go to school, women can work and journalists can operate.

  • Many Afghans remain skeptical of the Taliban's promises — especially amid reports on the ground of revenge killings and women being blocked from work or school, Axios' Zach Basu reports.

Go deeper: Taliban announce formation of caretaker Afghan government

Go deeper

Oct 14, 2021 - World

Pakistan Airlines halts flights to Kabul citing "heavy-handedness" of Taliban

Passengers board a Pakistan International Airlines flight in Kabul on Sept 13. Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

Pakistan International Airlines on Thursday halted flights to Kabul after what it called "heavy-handedness" of Taliban authorities, Reuters reports.

Driving the news: The suspension comes after the Taliban ordered PIA to slash ticket prices, warning that the company's Afghan operations could be blocked if it refused to do so, per Reuters.

Updated Oct 16, 2021 - World

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly bombing in southern Afghanistan

The mosque after the explosion in southern Kandahar province on Oct. 15. Photo: Murteza Khaliqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a massive blast that tore through a crowded Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday, killing at least 47 people and injuring dozens more, AP reports.

Why it matters: Friday's attack was the deadliest to strike Afghanistan since the U.S. withdrew its troops from the region and is the second major attack on a Shiite mosque in a week, underscoring the Taliban's growing security threat from other militant groups.

The E-commerce shopping spree

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Retailers have gotten really good at selling stuff online. So much so, investors want them to separate from the business units that do just that.

Why it matters: Spinning off these crown jewels may jeopardize both the physical and e-commerce sides of the companies in the long run by breaking the benefits of hybrid operations, analysts say.