KABUL: The Taliban had handed over about $12.3-million cash and some gold to Da Afghanistan Bank, the country's central bank, a bank statement said on Thursday.
The cash and gold bars found from the houses of former administration's officials and local offices of the former government's intelligence agency have been returned to Da Afghanistan Bank's treasury, the bank said in a statement.
"The officials of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan by handing over the assets to the national treasury proved their commitment to transparency," the statement said.
After taking over the capital Kabul on August 15, the Taliban announced the formation of a caretaker government on September 7, appointing several acting ministers and an acting governor to the Afghan central bank.
In another development, a friction between pragmatists and ideologues in the Taliban leadership has intensified since the group formed a hard-line Cabinet last week that is more in line with their harsh rule in the 1990s than their recent promises of inclusiveness, said two Afghans familiar with the power struggle.
The wrangling has taken place behind the scenes but rumors quickly began circulating about a recent violent confrontation between the two camps at the presidential palace, including claims that the leader of the pragmatic faction, Abdul Ghani Baradar, was killed.
The rumors reached such intensity that an audio recording and handwritten statement, both purportedly by Baradar himself, denied that he had been killed. Then on Wednesday, Baradar appeared in an interview with the country's national TV.
"I was traveling from Kabul so had no access to the media in order to reject this news" Baradar said of the rumor.
Baradar served as the chief negotiator during talks between the Taliban and the United States that paved the way for the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, which was completed in late August, two weeks after the Taliban overran the capital of Kabul.
Shortly after the Kabul takeover, Baradar had been the first senior Taliban official to hold out the possibility of an inclusive government, but such hopes were disappointed with the formation of an all-male, all-Taliban lineup last week.
In a further sign that the hard-liners had prevailed, the white Taliban flag was raised over the presidential palace, replacing the Afghan national flag.
A Taliban official said the leadership still hasn't made a final decision on the flag with many leaning toward eventually flying both banners side by side. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to discuss internal deliberations with the media.
The two Afghans familiar with the power struggle also spoke on condition of anonymity to protect the confidentiality of those who shared their discontent over the Cabinet lineup.
They said one Cabinet minister toyed with refusing his post, angered by the all-Taliban government that shunned the country's ethnic and religious minorities.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has denied rifts in the leadership. On Tuesday, the Taliban foreign minister, Amir Khan Mutaqi, dismissed such reports as "propaganda."