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Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, onTuesday. Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department expressed concern late Tuesday about the Taliban's new all-male interim Cabinet in Afghanistan, which includes a minister who's on a U.S. terrorism list.

What they're saying: "We note the announced list of names consists exclusively of individuals who are members of the Taliban or their close associates and no women," the State Department said in an emailed statement.

  • "We also are concerned by the affiliations and track records of some of the individuals," added the statement, which said it would "judge the Taliban by its actions, not words."

Driving the news: Muhammad Hassan Akhund, the acting prime minister, is a UN-designated terrorist.

  • Acting interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is wanted by the FBI for terrorism offenses, is the leader of the Haqqani network — designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S.

Meanwhile, medical workers reported that Taliban forces fired shot dead three people who were protesting the group in the western city of Herat, the BBC notes.

Of note: The State Department said it would "continue to hold the Taliban to their commitments to allow safe passage for foreign nationals and Afghans with travel documents, including permitting flights currently ready to fly out of Afghanistan to agreed-upon onward destinations.

  • "We also reiterate our clear expectation that the Taliban ensure that Afghan soil is not used to threaten any other countries and allow humanitarian access in support of the Afghan people."

Context: White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said Monday that about 100 Americans were still in Afghanistan and officials were working to evacuate those who want to leave, as well as Afghan allies following reports that many had been left behind following the full U.S. troop withdrawal from the country.

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.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congressman criminally charged with lying to feds

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) has been indicted on charges he falsified records and lied to federal investigators probing an illegal foreign donation scheme, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.

Driving the news: DOJ says a Fortenberry associate, who later cooperated with investigators, informed him he'd likely received illegal donations from an intermediary for a foreign national, but that Fortenberry denied any knowledge of such a scheme when contacted by the FBI.