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Islamist organization in Afghanistan (founded 1994) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Taliban (/ˈtælɪbæn, ˈtɑːlɪbɑːn/; Pashto: طالبان, romanized: ṭālibān, lit.'students' or 'seekers'), which also refers to itself by its state name, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,[81][82][lower-alpha 1] is a Deobandi Islamic fundamentalist and Pashtun nationalist[85][17] militant political movement in Afghanistan.[86][9][10] It ruled approximately three-quarters of the country from 1996 to 2001, before being overthrown following the United States invasion. It recaptured Kabul on 15 August 2021 after nearly 20 years of insurgency, and currently controls all of the country, although its government has not yet been recognized by any country. The Taliban government has been criticized for restricting human rights in Afghanistan, including the right of women and girls to work and to have an education.[87]

Quick facts: Taliban, Founders, Supreme leaders, Governing...
طالبان (ṭālibān)
Supreme leaders
Governing bodyLeadership Council
Dates of operation
Group(s)Primarily Pashtuns;[1][2] minority Tajiks, and Uzbeks[3][4]
HeadquartersKandahar (1994–2001; 2021–present)
Active regionsAfghanistan
SizeCore strength -
  • 45,000 (2001 est.)[21]
  • 11,000 (2008 est.)[22]
  • 36,000 (2010 est.)[23]
  • 60,000 (2014 est.)[24]
  • 60,000[25] (2017 est. excluding 90,000 local militia and 50,000 support elements)
  • 75,000 (2021 est.)[26][27][28]
AlliesSubgroups State allies
Non-state allies
OpponentsState and intergovernmental opponents Non-state opponents
Battles and wars
Designated as a terrorist group byFlag_of_Canada_%28Pantone%29.svg Canada[68]
Flag_of_Kazakhstan.svg Kazakhstan[69]
Flag_of_Kyrgyzstan.svg Kyrgyzstan[70]
Flag_of_Russia.svg Russia[71]
Flag_of_Tajikistan.svg Tajikistan[72]
Flag_of_Turkey.svg Turkey[73]
Flag_of_the_United_Arab_Emirates.svg United Arab Emirates[74][75]

The Taliban emerged in September 1994 as one of the prominent factions in the Afghan Civil War and largely consisted of students (ṭālib) from the Pashtun areas of eastern and southern Afghanistan who had been educated in traditional Islamic schools (madāris). Under the leadership of Mullah Omar (r. 1996–2001), the movement spread throughout most of Afghanistan, shifting power away from the Mujahideen warlords. In 1996, the group administered roughly three-quarters of the country, and established the First Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The Taliban's government was opposed by the Northern Alliance militia, which seized parts of northeast Afghanistan and largely maintained international recognition as a continuation of the interim Islamic State of Afghanistan. The Taliban held control of most of the country until being overthrown after the United States invasion of Afghanistan in December 2001. Many members of the Taliban fled to neighboring Pakistan.

After being overthrown, the Taliban launched an insurgency to fight the United States–backed Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the NATO–led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in the War in Afghanistan. In May 2002, exiled members formed the Council of Leaders (Rahbarī Shūrā) based in the city of Quetta in Pakistan. They established a political office in Qatar in 2012. Under Hìbatullah Akhundzada's leadership, in May 2021, the Taliban launched a military offensive, that culminated in the Fall of Kabul on 15 August 2021 and the Taliban regaining control of Afghanistan. The Islamic Republic was dissolved and the Islamic Emirate was reestablished.

During their rule from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban enforced a strict interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law,[88] and were widely condemned for massacres against Afghan civilians, harsh discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities, denial of UN food supplies to starving civilians, destruction of cultural monuments, banning women from school and most employment, and prohibition of most music. Following their return to power in 2021, the Afghanistan government budget lost 80% of its funding and food insecurity became widespread, while all foreign nations refused to recognize the Taliban's regime.[89] The Taliban returned Afghanistan to many policies implemented under its previous rule, including banning women from holding almost any jobs, requiring women to wear head-to-toe coverings such as the burqa, blocking women from travelling without male guardians, and banning all education for girls.[90][91][92]