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Once banned, cockfighting takes wing in KabulA boisterous roar sweeps through the crowd as a pair of roosters spar in a sandy pit, their spurs kicking, wings flapping and beaks pecking. Cockfighting, known in Afghanistan as "Murgh Jangi," has the trappings of a gladiatorial contest.Cockfighting, like all animal fighting and gambling, was banned under the Taliban's 1996-2001 rule.Inside, there is tiered seating for two groups of rooster owners, bloodsport enthusiasts and imperious Godfather-like figures recording gambling bets in crumpled notebooks.From cockfighting to quail fighting to buzkashi – > ?polo with a headless animal carcass – > ?Afghanistan's violent pastimes are redolent in some ways of the tumult that the country has experienced in four decades of war.But unlike war, cockfighting is a contest of equals.The owner demonstrated to AFP how his roosters are made to jog to improve their lung capacity – around the enclosure of a hen. Roosters, like men, who are otherwise clumsy tend to be more disciplined around females, he joked.
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