The Taliban, a fundamentalist Islamic force that ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until being toppled by U.S. forces in 2001, entered the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday after sweeping through much of the country in recent days following a withdrawal of U.S. troops. The group that sheltered Osama bin Laden as he planned the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America is now consolidating control over the country as they end two decades of fighting in Afghanistan.
Who are the Taliban?
The Taliban were founded in southern Afghanistan by Mullah Mohammad Omar, a member of the Pashtun tribe who became a mujahedeen commander that helped push the Soviets out of the country in 1989. In 1994, Mullah Omar formed the group in Kandahar with about 50 followers who rose up to challenge the instability, corruption and crime that consumed Afghanistan during the post-Soviet-era civil war.
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