Dexter Filkins, still a stud.
The graveyard, next to this tiny village north of Kabul, sits a few miles from what was once the front line against the rebels who fought the Taliban after the group captured Kabul in 1996. Those rebels, then known as the Northern Alliance, finally overran the Taliban and captured Kabul — with American help — in November 2001.
Eight years after the last fighter was buried here, the cemetery has fallen into decrepitude. Many of the gravestones are broken and smashed — the vandalism, the villagers say, of a marauding anti-Taliban militia. Weeds and rocks and tattered prayer flags obscure much of what is left. The villagers of Tarakhel, though Taliban enthusiasts, have given up trying to care for the place.
And they are with them now. The Taliban cemetery may have fallen into disrepair, but the villagers say the Taliban are fighting the good fight, just as they were in bygone days.
“They’ll be back, you know,” Mr. Zahir said.