Taliban Insurgency: A Timeline
Updated: 4:44pm UK, Tuesday 18 June 2013
As Afghan forces take control of national security, marking a major milestone for the withdrawal of US-led combat troops, here is a timeline of the 12 years of Taliban insurgency in the country.
:: September 11, 2001 - al Qaeda hijackers fly passenger planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing nearly 3,000 people. Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is known to live in Afghanistan, which is ruled by the Taliban.
:: October 7, 2001 - A US-led military campaign begins with air strikes against Afghanistan, followed by troops, to hunt down bin Laden and topple the Taliban.
:: December 2001 - The Taliban are forced from power, but bin Laden is not found. Plans are laid for an interim government and a multinational force. Hamid Karzai is appointed to lead the government and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) begins to deploy.
:: October 9, 2004 - Afghanistan's first presidential election takes place. Mr Karzai is proclaimed the winner. He is declared to have won another term in November 2009, amid accusations of massive electoral fraud.
:: February 2007 - Taliban insurgents attack at US base as vice president Dick Cheney visits, killing 24 people.
:: November 2008 - Barack Obama is elected US president, and vows to end the war in Iraq and focus on Afghanistan.
:: December 1, 2009 - Mr Obama orders a "surge" of 30,000 troops into Afghanistan but says withdrawals will begin in July 2011. The number of NATO-led forces reaches a peak of 150,000 in the summer of 2010.
:: May 2, 2011 - Osama bin Laden is killed by US special forces in the Pakistan town of Abbottabad.
:: June 22, 2011 - Mr Obama announces the withdrawal of 33,000 US troops by the middle of 2012.
:: July 2011 - Western troops and officials begin handing authority to Afghan forces in some areas.
:: August 6, 2011 - 30 US troops, mostly special forces, and eight Afghans die when the Taliban shoots down their helicopter in the biggest single loss for foreign troops in the war.
:: September 20, 2011 - Burhanuddin Rabbani, a former president and Mr Karzai's peace envoy, becomes the most senior politician to be killed since the start of the conflict in an assassination blamed by Afghan officials on the Taliban.
:: November 27, 2011 - US air strikes kill 24 Pakistani soldiers, prompting Pakistan to suspend overland NATO supply routes into Afghanistan for several months.
:: December 6, 2011 - At least 84 people die in suicide blasts at shrines on the Shiite holday day of Ashura. The biggest attack takes place in Kabul, killing 80.
:: February 2012 - Deadly protests kill 40 people and force Mr Obama to apologise after US troops burn copies of the Koran on an Afghan military base.
:: March 11, 2012 - A rogue US soldier walks off his base in Kandahar and kills 16 Afghans, most of them women and children.
:: February 2013 - Mr Obama announces 34,000 US troops will return from Afghanistan by mid-February 2014. There are currently 98,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan.
At least 3,336 foreign troops have died since the start of operations in 2001.