The Rise and Fall of the Taliban
1996:
Sept. 27
: The Taliban militia captures Kabul from the Northern Alliance, executes former president Najibullah and imposes Sharia, or Islamic law. Ahmed Shah Massoud, defense minister in the ousted government of President Burhanuddin Rabbani, withdraws to the Panjshir Valley and begins a military campaign to overthrow the Taliban.
1998:
Aug. 20
: 13 days after bomb attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the U.S. launches cruise missiles against extremist training camps in Afghanistan, aiming to wipe out Islamic militant Osama bin Laden, a 'guest' of the Taliban.
Sept. 13: The Taliban gain control of the Hezb-e-Wahdat stronghold Hazarajat. They control more than 80 percent of the country, but are recognized as the legal government only by Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.
1999:
Nov. 14: The first U.N. sanctions against the Taliban go into effect, including an air embargo.
2000:
Nov. 3:
Taliban agree to U.N.-backed peace talks.
Nov. 20: A peace plan drawn up by former King Zahir Shah, living in exile in Rome, is rejected by the Taliban.
Dec. 20: U.N. sanctions renewed. Taliban walk out of peace talks.
2001:
Feb. 14
: Taliban order closure of U.N. offices in Kabul.
Feb. 20: U.N. announces that a starvation crisis looms in Afghanistan.
Mar. 1:
The Taliban provoke international outrage by blowing up the giant Buddha statues of Bamiyan.
Sept. 9: Northern Alliance military commander Ahmed Shah Masood is fatally wounded in a suicide-bomb attack carried out by two Arabs posing as journalists.
Sept. 11: More than 3,000 people are killed in New York and Washington when hijackers fly three passenger planes into the Pentagon and the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
Sept. 14: Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda network named as leading suspect in the terror attacks on New York and Washington.
Sept. 15: The Taliban order all foreigners to leave Afghanistan and warn of retaliation if any of its neighbours aid U.S. attacks on Afghanistan.
Sept. 25: Saudi Arabia cuts ties with Kabul.
Sept. 26: Taliban loses the support of chief ally Pakistan, which agrees to cooperate with the United States in its fight against the regime.
Oct. 7: First U.S.-led military strikes launched on Afghanistan.
Oct. 26: Afghan resistance hero Abdul Haq is executed by the Taliban after being captured while trying to persuade ethnic Pashtun tribes to turn against the ruling militia.
Nov. 9: Northern Alliance opposition forces capture Mazar-i-Sharif and make sweeping gains against Taliban forces across northern Afghanistan.
Nov. 13: Northern Alliance forces enter Kabul following an overnight pullout by Taliban troops.
Nov. 17: Exiled Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani returns to Kabul and vows a broad-based government will be installed as soon as possible.
Nov. 26: Northern Alliance forces mop up Taliban defenders, staging a bloody last stand in the Taliban's remaining northern foothold of Kunduz after a bitter two-week siege.
Nov. 30: The final Taliban fighters surrender after staging a bloody prison uprising in a fort near Mazar-i-Sharif that resulted in hundreds being killed.
Dec. 5: In Bonn, four rival Afghan groups sign an historic power-sharing agreement to form a post-Taliban interim government. Royalist ethnic Pashtun tribal leader Hamid Karzai is appointed head of the six-month interim body.
Dec. 6: The Taliban agree to surrender their last stronghold of Kandahar.
Dec. 7: Afghan interim leader Hamid Karzai says Taliban fighters begin to hand over their weapons and control of Kandahar to local commander Mullah Naqibullah.