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Taliban

The Taliban (Pashto: طالبان‎‎ ṭālibān "students"), alternatively spelled Taleban, which refers to itself as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), is a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political moveme

nt in Afghanistan currently waging war (an insurgency, or jihad) within that country. Since 2016, the Taliban's leader is Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada. From 1996 to 2001, the Taliban held power over roughly three quarters of Afghanistan, and enforced there a strict interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law. The Taliban emerged in 1994 as one of the prominent factions in the Afghan Civil War, and largely consisted of students recently trained in madrassas in Pakistan. Under the leadership of Mohammed Omar, the movement spread throughout most of Afghanistan, sequestering power from the Mujahideen warlords. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was established in 1996 and the Afghan capital transferred to Kandahar. It held control of most of the country until being overthrown by the American-led invasion of Afghanistan in December 2001 following the September 11 attacks. At its peak, formal diplomatic recognition of the Taliban's government was acknowledged by only three nations: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The group later regrouped as an insurgency movement to fight the American-backed Karzai administration and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The Taliban have been condemned internationally for the harsh enforcement of their interpretation of Islamic Sharia law, which has resulted in the brutal treatment of many Afghans, especially women. During their rule from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban and their allies committed massacres against Afghan civilians, denied UN food supplies to 160,000 starving civilians and conducted a policy of scorched earth, burning vast areas of fertile land and destroying tens of thousands of homes. According to the United Nations, the Taliban and their allies were responsible for 76% of Afgh...