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The Taliban (or Taleban) is an Islamic fundamentalist movement that stated it wanted to "to set up the world's most pure Islamic state"[1] when it effectively ruled over 90% of Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001.

The Taliban is currently engaged in a protracted guerilla war against NATO forces within Afghanistan.


The Taliban, "Persian Taleban ('Students'), also spelled Taleban, ultraconservative political and religious faction that emerged in Afghanistan in the mid 1990s following the withdrawal of Soviet troops, the collapse of Afghanistan's communist regime, and the subsequent breakdown in civil order. The faction took its name from its membership, which consisted largely of students trained in madrasahs (Islamic religious schools)," according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. [1]

"The Taliban emerged as the strongest faction of the Muslim Afghan mujahedeen rebels to seize Kabul in 1996. While they created some stability after nearly two decades of conflict, their tough interpretation of Islamic law has attracted widespread criticism," CNN reported in 2001.

"Since 1996, the Taliban have given asylum to Osama bin Laden, prime suspect in the U.S. attacks. Now the ruling council of clerics have asked him to leave the country.

"The United Nations does not recognize the Taliban, which controls 95 percent of the country. Their main opposition is the Northern Alliance, who are currently battling for control of strategically important districts in the north," according to CNN. [2]

Related SourceWatch Resources


  1. Analysis: Who are the Taleban?, BBC News, 20 December, 2000

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