A Taliban shadow governor was killed together with six other militants after Afghan air force struck a militant hideout in the northern province of Baghlan overnight, a local official said Wednesday.
The Taliban (Pashto: طالبان ṭālibān “students”), alternatively spelled Taleban, which recently changed their name and identity to Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), is a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political movement in Afghanistan currently waging war (an insurgency, or jihad) within that country.
Until his death in 2013, Mullah Mohammed Omar was the supreme commander and spiritual leader of the Taliban. Mullah Akhtar Mansour was elected as his replacement in 2015, and following Mansour’s killing in a May 2016 U.S. drone strike, Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada became the group’s leader.
From 1996 to 2001, the Taliban held power in Afghanistan and enforced a strict interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law, of which the international community and leading Muslims have been highly critical.
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, whose corruption and despotism Afghans had tired of. 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).