Published 18 August 2021 Share close Share page Copy link About sharing The Taliban were removed from power in Afghanistan by US-led forces in 2001, but the group has seized control of the country once again following a rapid offensive. The capital, Kabul, was the last major city to fall to the offensive that began months ago but accelerated as the hardline Islamists gained control of territories. The group entered direct talks with the US back in 2018, and in February 2020 the two sides struck a peace deal that committed the US to withdrawal and the Taliban to preventing attacks on US forces. Other promises included not allowing al-Qaeda or other militants to operate in areas it controlled and proceeding with national peace talks. But in the year that followed, the Taliban continued to target Afghan security forces and civilians, advancing rapidly across the country. Rise to power The Taliban, or “students” in the Pashto language, emerged in the early 1990s in northern Pakistan following the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. It is believed that the predominantly Pashtun movement first appeared in religious seminaries – mostly paid for by money from Saudi Arabia – which preached a hardline… Read full this story
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