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Afghanistan's recent history is a story of war and civil unrest. The Soviet Union invaded in 1979, but was forced to withdraw 10 years later by anti-Communist mujahedin forces. The Communist regime in Kabul collapsed in 1992. Subsequently, a series of civil wars saw Kabul fall in 1996 to the Taliban, a hardline movement that emerged in 1994 to end the country's civil war and anarchy. The Taliban were able to capture most of the country outside of Northern Alliance strongholds primarily in the northeast.
Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, a US, Allied, and anti-Taliban Northern Alliance military action toppled the Taliban. The UN-sponsored Bonn Conference in 2001 established a process for political reconstruction that included the adoption of a new constitution and a presidential election in 2004, and National Assembly elections in 2005. On December 7, 2004, Hamid Karzai became the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan. The National Assembly was inaugurated on December 19, 2005.
Geography & People
Last updated: February 10, 2016