World

The Taliban

Updated 0122 GMT (0922 HKT) May 23, 2016
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The Taliban, a Sunni Islamist organization operating primarily in Afghanistan and Pakistan, was formed in 1994. It was led by Mullah Mohammed Omar, a veteran of the Afghan mujahedeen that fought invading Soviets from 1979-1989. Omar, seen here in an undated video image, died in April 2013, according to a representative for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. CNN
In this image taken off television by BBC Newsnight, Omar -- fourth from left -- attends a rally with Taliban troops before their victorious assault on Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, in 1996. The Taliban's aim is to impose its interpretation of Islamic law on Afghanistan and remove foreign influence from the country. Most of its members are Pashtun, the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan. BBC News/Newsnight/Getty Images
Tanks manned by Taliban fighters are decorated with flowers in front of the presidential palace in Kabul on September 27, 1996. B.K.Bangash/AP
Taliban soldiers in Russian-made tanks fire on the forces of former Afghan defense minister Ahmad Shah Massood in October 1996. Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images
Afghan women in Kabul are covered head to toe in traditional burqas on October 16, 1996. After taking over Kabul, the ruling Taliban imposed strict Islamic laws on the Afghan people. Television, music and non-Islamic holidays were banned. Women were not allowed to attend school or work outside the home, and they were forbidden to travel alone. Roger Lemoyne/Liaison AgencY/Getty Images
Three women hitch a ride on the back of a donkey cart as they pass by the ruins of Kabul's former commercial district in November 1996. Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images
This is an undated image believed to show the Taliban's former leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar. In 1997, the Taliban issued an edict renaming Afghanistan the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The country was only officially recognized by three countries: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. EPA
In 1997, Omar forged a relationship with al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, pictured. Bin Laden then moved his base of operations to Kandahar, Afghanistan. AP
In March 2001, Taliban soldiers stand at the base of the mountain alcove where a Buddha statue once stood 170 feet high in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. The Taliban destroyed two 1,500-year-old Buddha figures in the town, saying they were idols that violated Islam. Amir Shah/AP
After the 9/11 attacks, the United States conducted military strikes against al Qaeda training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime. In this long-exposure photo, a U.S. Navy fighter jet takes off from the deck of the USS Enterprise on October 7, 2001. U.S. Navy/Getty Images
An Afghan anti-Taliban fighter pops up from his tank to spot a U.S. warplane bombing al Qaeda fighters in the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan on December 10, 2001. After massive U.S. bombardment as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom, the Taliban lost Afghanistan to U.S. and Northern Alliance forces. David Guttenfelder/AP
Afghans look into Omar's bedroom as they go through his compound on the outskirts of Kandahar on December 11, 2001. Jerome Delay/AP
In April 2011, hundreds of prisoners escaped from a prison in Kandahar by crawling through a tunnel. The Taliban took responsibility for the escape. This picture shows a general view of the prison, top center, and the house, bottom right, from which Taliban militiamen dug the tunnel leading to the prison. Mamoon Durrani/AFP/Getty Images
Security guards stand outside the new Taliban political office in Doha, Qatar, before its official opening in June 2013. The Taliban announced that they hoped to improve relations with other countries, head toward a peaceful solution to the Afghanistan occupation and establish an independent Islamic system in the country. Faisal Al-Timimi/AFP/Getty Images
Zafar Hashemi, deputy spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, speaks during a news conference on July 29, when the news of Omar's death was announced. Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour became the leader of the Taliban after Omar's death. Mansour was killed in an airstrike in Pakistan on Saturday, May 21, 2016. From Taliban