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Background: Afghanistan

1998:
February - Earthquake in northeastern Afghansitan; kills over 4,000;
August - Taliban capture Mazar-i-Sharif and massacre thousands;
August 20 - United States launches cruise missles hitting Afghanistan's Khost region. US states its intent was to destroy so called terrorist bases/training facilities used by Osama bin Laden and his followers.
September - Tensions rise between Iran and the Taliban after killing of diplomats and a journalist by the Taliban when they captured Mazar-i-Sharif. Soon they deploy 70,000 troops to carry out military exercises near the Afghan border.

1999:
February - Earthquake in eastern Afghanistan; kills 60 to 70 people;
September - Exiled King Mohammad Zahir Shah calls for a grand assembly, or Loya Jirga to discuss ways of bringing peace to the country. The United Front soon welcomes the idea, but the Taliban ridicule idea.
October - UN Security Council Resolution 1267 is adopted; sanctions against the Taliban for offering sanctuary to Osama bin Laden.

2000:
May - Taliban torture and kill civilians in the Robatak Pass.
September - Taloqan falls to the Taliban.
December - UN Security Council Resolution 1333 is adopted; additional sanctions against the Taliban for their continuing support of terrorism and cultivation of narcotics, etc.

2001:
January - Taliban torture and kill civilians in Yakaolang (Hazaras).
March - The Taliban destroy ancient historical statues in the Kabul Museum, historical sites in Ghazni and blow up the giant Bamiyan Buddhas.
April - Ahmad Shah Masood visits Europe to gather support against the Taliban.
April - UN accuses Pakistan of not allowing adequate supply of food and medicines to displaced Afghans, at the Jalozai camp, near Peshawar.
September 9 - Ahmad Shah Masood suffered critical wounds in assassination attempt; he diedless than a week later;
September 16 - US gives Taliban deadline to hand over Osama bin Laden.
October 7 - US begins bombing Taliban strongholds.
November - Taliban government collapses. Mohammed Omar flees.
December 23 - Two year temporary coalition government headed by Hamid Karzai takes office.