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The Taliban is a religious and military movement that seized control of large portions of Afghanistan in the mid-1990s. While the Taliban was initially seen as a stabilizing force in war-torn Afghanistan, the movement's embrace of a radical form of Islam quickly made it a pariah in the international community. The Taliban's hosting of the terrorist organization Al Qaeda eventually led to its downfall in late 2001, following military strikes by the United States.

Coming to Power

The Taliban emerged in the southern Afghan district of Kandahar in 1994. Two years before, the mujahideen—a loose alliance of Afghan ethnic and religious groups, plus foreigners come to defend Islam—had ousted the Soviet-backed People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) after more than a decade of war. But peace did not follow victory. Mujahideen warlords began fighting over control of Afghanistan. While some areas, such as the western city ...

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