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Seventy Afghanistan couples marry in mass wedding

Dozens of Afghanistan women concealed in thick green shawls were married off in a mass wedding in Kabul on Monday.

The ceremony was attended by hundreds of guests and gun-toting Taliban fighters.

Marriage is a costly affair in deeply impoverished Afghanistan, traditionally involving huge dowries, expensive gifts, and lavish parties.

Historically, couples from families unable to foot the bill have sometimes opted to pool their resources in low-cost large scale marriages.

Monday’s ceremony hitching 70 couples was one of the largest recently witnessed in Afghanistan, currently in economic freefall since the return of the Taliban.

“Today, no young man wants to bear the burden of an expensive wedding,” said groom Ebadullah Niazai, who had waited eight years to be married.

“I have no job. We were short of money and so we decided to marry at a mass wedding ceremony,” said 22-year-old groom Esmatullah Bashardost, who hails from the minority Shiite Hazara community.

Bashardost, sporting a traditional Afghan cap, said his wedding would likely be the most “happy day” of his life.

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