- Title: File of key events in the modern history of Afghanistan
- Date: 19th August 2021
- Summary: When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, women could not work, girls were not allowed to attend school and women had to cover their face and be accompanied by a male relative if they wanted to venture out of their homes. Women who broke the rules sometimes suffered humiliation and public beatings by the Taliban's religious police under the group's strict interpretation of Islamic law. KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (FILE - OCTOBER 1, 1996) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) CITY SHOT OF KABUL WOMEN WALKING COVERED HEAD-TO-TOE IN BURQAS WOMEN IN BURQAS WALKING BEHIND MEN As the Taliban gained control of the country, Ahmad Shah Masood, military leader of the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan, or the Northern Alliance, the main opposition to the Taliban, was assassinated by Al Qaeda-linked suicide bombers on September 9, 2001. PANJSHER, HINDU KUSH AND TAKHAR PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN (FILE - MAY 2001) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) AHMAD SHAH MASOOD SURVEYING THE HINDU KUSH WITH HIS COMMANDERS VARIOUS OF MASOOD VIEWING AREA THROUGH BINOCULARS JANGALAK, PANJSHER VALLEY, AFGHANISTAN (FILE - SEPTEMBER 16, 2001) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) MEN SALUTING AND CRYING WHILE MASOOD'S FUNERAL PROCESSION WALKING PAST FUNERAL PROCESSION The Pentagon carpet-bombed the Taliban with giant B-52 bombers near Bagram's airbase north of Kabul, at the beginning of the U.S. military campaign, after the September 11 attacks. Its public goals at that time were to dismantle al Qaeda, and to deny it a safe base of operations in Afghanistan by removing the Taliban from power. BAGRAM, AFGHANISTAN (FILE - SEPTEMBER 2001) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) U.S. BOMBER PLANE FLYING SMOKE RISING FROM EXPLOSIONS SOLDIERS RUNNING AWAY FROM ARTILLERY FIRING ROCKET LAUNCHER MOUNTED ON MILITARY TRUCK BEING FIRED Following the U.S. bombing campaign, thousands of protesters set fire to the U.S. embassy in Kabul. KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (FILE - OCTOBER, 2001) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) TALIBAN PROTESTING / U.S. EMBASSY BURNING VEHICLE BURNING Afghan and the Northern Alliance soldiers headed towards the capital Kabul after the Taliban regime collapsed. BAGRAM, AFGHANISTAN (FILE - 2001) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF NORTHERN ALLIANCE MILITARY VEHICLES DRIVING TOWARDS KABUL Residents of Kabul celebrated the collapse of the Taliban regime as they danced on the street and shaved their beards, which were mandatory under the Afghan Taliban. KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (FILE - 2001) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) CROWDS CELEBRATING EXTERIOR OF BARBER SHOP VARIOUS OF MEN GETTING THEIR BEARDS SHAVED The first conference for Afghanistan was held in Bonn, Germany soon after the fall of the Taliban regime to establish a transitional government in Kabul. BONN, GERMANY (FILE - DECEMBER 5, 2001) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) MINISTERS GATHERING FOR SIGNING OF BONN AGREEMENT FORMER AFGHAN MILITIA LEADER PACHA KHAN ZADRAN (LEFT) SIGNING AGREEMENT Then-U.S. President George Bush held a news conference announcing the defeat of the Taliban by the U.S. and its allies. WASHINGTON D.C., UNITED STATES (FILE - DECEMBER 12, 2001) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) THEN U.S. PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH ADDRESSING REPORTERS (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT, GEORGE W. BUSH, SAYING: "Thanks to our military and our allies and the brave fighters of Afghanistan, the Taliban regime is coming to an end." International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldiers patrolled the streets of Kabul after the fall of Taliban. KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (FILE - DECEMBER, 2001) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ASSISTANCE FORCE (ISAF) VEHICLES DRIVING ISAF SOLDIER PATROLLING ISAF VEHICLE DRIVING Afghans voters turned up in Kandahar to take part in the first presidential election since the fall of Taliban. KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN (FILE - OCTOBER 9, 2004) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) POLLING STATION IN KANDAHAR VARIOUS OF MAN PLACING HIS BALLOT INTO THE BOX
- Embargoed: 2nd September 2021 11:19
- Keywords: 9/11 Afghanistan September 11 Soviet Union U.S. withdrawal attacks country file the Taliban
- Location: SEE SCRIPT BODY FOR LOCATIONS
- City: SEE SCRIPT BODY FOR LOCATIONS
- Country: Afghanistan
- Topics: Asia / Pacific,Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA004EQYQ72F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES
Thursday (August 19) marks Afghanistan's independence from British control in 1919.
The modern history of the landlocked and mountainous country has seen chronic conflict and instability that left its economy and infrastructure in ruins.
The last battle of the Cold War was fought on Afghan soil between Soviet soldiers and U.S.-backed guerrillas.
When the Soviet troops pulled out of Afghanistan on February 15, 1989, many had hoped the end of the nine-year military involvement would bring peace to the country ravaged by years of war. But conflict has marred those hopes as Afghans continued to fight against themselves. Outside forces have joined in to curb the rise of Muslim insurgents.
The Taliban, which means "students" in the Pashto language, emerged in 1994 around the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. It was one of the factions fighting a civil war for control of the country following the withdrawal of the Soviet Union and subsequent collapse of the government.
It originally drew members from so-called "mujahedeen" fighters who, with support from the United States, repelled Soviet forces in the 1980s.
Within the space of two years, the Taliban had gained sole control over most of the country, proclaiming an Islamic emirate in 1996 with a harsh interpretation of Islamic law. Other mujahedeen groups retreated to the north of the country.
Following the Sept 11, 2001 attacks in the United States by al Qaeda, U.S.-backed forces in the north swept into Kabul in November under the cover of heavy U.S. airstrikes.
The Taliban melted away into remote areas, where it began a 20-year-long insurgency against the Afghan government and its Western allies.
Taliban insurgents made rapid advances across Afghanistan in recent months as U.S. and other foreign forces withdrew, following President Joe Biden's decision to withdraw U.S. forces after 20 years of war - the nation's longest - that he described as costing more than $1 trillion.
The Taliban seized the capital on Sunday (August 15), taking control in Afghanistan two decades after they were forced out by U.S.-backed forces.
It took the Taliban just over a week to seize control of the whole country after a lightning sweep as government forces, trained for years and equipped by the United States and others, melted away.
Many Afghans fear the Taliban will return to past harsh practices. During their 1996-2001 rule, women could not work and punishments such as public stoning, whipping and hanging were administered.
Now, the group is seeking to present a more moderate face.
The Taliban said on Tuesday (August 17) they wanted peaceful relations with other countries and would respect the rights of women within the framework of Islamic law. But many remain skeptical.
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