Taliban Fast Facts

(CNN)Here's a look at the Taliban, a Sunni Islamist organization operating primarily in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Facts:
Reclusive leader Mullah Mohammed Omar led the Taliban from the mid-1990s until his death in 2013.
Taliban, in Pashto, is the plural of Talib, which means student.
Most members are Pashtun, the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan.
    The exact number of Taliban forces is unknown.
    The group's aim is to impose its interpretation of Islamic law on Afghanistan and remove foreign influence from the country.
    Timeline:
    1979-1989 - The Soviet Union invades and occupies Afghanistan. Afghan resistance fighters, known collectively as mujahedeen, fight back.
    1989-1993 - After the Soviet Union withdraws, fighting among the mujahedeen leads to chaos.
    1994 - The Taliban is formed, comprised mostly of students and led by Omar.
    November 1994 - The Taliban seize the city of Kandahar.
    September 1996 - The capital, Kabul, falls to the Taliban.
    1996-2001 - The group imposes strict Islamic laws on the Afghan people. Women must wear head-to-toe coverings, are not allowed to attend school or work outside the home and are forbidden to travel alone. Television, music and non-Islamic holidays are also banned.
    1997 - The Taliban issue an edict renaming Afghanistan the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The country is only officially recognized by three countries: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
    1997- Omar forges a relationship with Osama bin Laden, who then moves his base of operations to Kandahar.
    August 1998 - The Taliban capture the strategic city of Mazar-e-Sharif, gaining control of about 90% of Afghanistan.
    October 7, 2001 - Less than a month after terrorists linked to al Qaeda carried out the 9/11 attacks, American and allied forces begin an invasion of Afghanistan called Operation Enduring Freedom, to stop the Taliban from providing a safe haven to al Qaeda and to stop al Qaeda's use of Afghanistan as a base of operations for terrorist activities.
    December 7, 2001 - The Taliban loses its last major stronghold as the city of Kandahar falls.
    December 2006 - Senior Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Osmani is killed in an airstrike by the United States.
    December 11, 2007 - Allied commanders report that Afghan troops backed by NATO have recaptured the provincial town of Musa Qala from Taliban control.
    October 21, 2008 - Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal confirms that Saudi Arabia hosted talks between Afghan officials and the Taliban in September. It is reported that no agreements were made.
    April 25, 2011 - Hundreds of prisoners escape from a prison in Kandahar by crawling through a tunnel. The Taliban take responsibility for the escape and claim that 541 prisoners escaped, while the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force says the number is 470.
    September 10, 2011 - Two Afghan civilians are killed and 77 US troops are wounded in a truck bombing at the entrance of Combat Outpost Sayed Abad, an ISAF base in Afghanistan's Wardak province. The Taliban claim responsibility.
    September 13, 2011 - Taliban militants open fire on the US embassy and ISAF headquarters in central Kabul. Three police officers and one civilian are killed.
    February 27, 2012 - The Taliban claim responsibility for a suicide bombing near the front gate of the ISAF base at the Jalalabad airport in Afghanistan. At least nine people are killed and 12 are wounded in the explosion. The Taliban says the bombing is in retaliation for the burning of Qurans by NATO troops.
    June 18, 2013 - An official political office of the Taliban opens in Doha, Qatar's capital city. The Taliban claim they hope to improve relations with other countries and head toward a peaceful solution in Afghanistan.
    May 31, 2014 - The United States transfers five Guantanamo Bay detainees to Qatar in exchange for the release of US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. It is believed Bergdahl was being held by the Taliban and the al Qaeda-aligned Haqqani network in Pakistan. The detainees released are Khair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa, Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Nori, Abdul Haq Wasiq and Mohammad Nabi Omari.
    July 29, 2015 - An Afghan government spokesman says in a news release that Taliban leader Mullah Omar died in April 2013 in Pakistan, citing "credible information." A spokesman for Afghanistan's intelligence service tells CNN that Omar died in a hospital in Karachi at that time.
    September 28, 2015 - Taliban insurgents seize the main roundabout in the Afghan provincial capital of Kunduz, then free more than 500 inmates at the prison.
    December 21, 2015 - A police official says Taliban forces have taken almost complete control over Sangin, a strategically important city in Afghanistan's Helmand province.
    May 21, 2016 - Taliban leader, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour is killed in an airstrike in Pakistan.
    May 25, 2016 - The Taliban name Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada as their new leader. He is a senior religious cleric from the Taliban's founding generation.
    January 25, 2017 - The Taliban release an open letter to newly elected US President Donald Trump. The letter calls on Trump to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan.
    February 11, 2017 - The Taliban claim responsibility for a car bomb blast that kills at least eight people in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province.
    April 21, 2017 - The Taliban attack a northern army base in Afghanistan, killing or wounding more than 100 people.
    July 25, 2017 - CNN reports it has exclusive videos that suggest the Taliban have received improved weaponry in Afghanistan that appears to have been supplied by the Russian government. Moscow categorically denies arming the Taliban.
    August 3, 2017 - Taliban and ISIS forces launch a joint attack on a village in northern Afghanistan, killing 50 people, including women and children, local officials say.
    January 27, 2018 - An attacker driving an ambulance packed with explosives detonates them in Kabul, killing 95 people and injuring 191 others, Afghan officials say. The Taliban claim responsibility.
    February 28, 2018 - Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says the government is willing to recognize the Taliban as a legitimate political party as part of a potential ceasefire agreement.
    June 7, 2018 - In a video message, Ghani announces that Afghan forces have agreed to a ceasefire with the Taliban between June 12 and June 21. The proposed truce coincides with the holiday of Eid al-Fitr, the period during which Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.
    June 15-17, 2018 - The three-day ceasefire between the Taliban, Afghan forces and the NATO-led coalition is marred by two deadly attacks. ISIS, which did not participate in the truce, claims responsibility for a suicide bombing in the Nangarhar province that kills at least 25 people, including Taliban members and civilians. A second suicide bombing is carried out near the Nangarhar governor's compound, killing at least 18 people and injuring at least 49. There is no immediate claim of responsibility for the second attack.
    July 10, 2018 -