DescriptionThe Taliban(meaning "students" in Farsi and Pashto) is an Islamist militia group that ruled large parts of Afghanistan from September 1996 onwards. Although in control of Afghanistan's capital (Kabul) and most of the country for five years, the Taliban's Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan gained diplomatic recognition from only three states: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. After the attacks of September 11 2001 the Taliban regime was overthrown by Operation Enduring Freedom. The Taliban mostly fled to neighboring Pakistan where they regrouped as an insurgency movement to fight the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (established in late 2001) and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
Today the Taliban operate in Afghanistan and northwest Pakistan. U.S. officials say their headquarters is in or near Quetta, Pakistan. The Taliban engage in terrorism against the civilian population of Afghanistan. According to a report by the United Nations, the Taliban were responsible for 76 % of civilian casualties in Afghanistan in 2009. The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIGRC) called the Taliban's terrorism against the Afghan civilian population a war crime. Religious leaders condemned Taliban terrorist attacks and said these kinds of attacks are against Islamic ethics. Several human rights groups have approached the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which has been conducting a preliminary inquiry into war crimes charges in Afghanistan.