The Afghan Communist Party secretly forms. The group’s principal leaders are Babrak Karmal and Nur Mohammad Taraki.
Khan proposes a new constitution that grants women rights and works to modernize the largely communist state. He also cracks down on opponents, forcing many suspected of not supporting Khan out of the government.
Some 2.8 million Afghans have fled from the war to Pakistan, and another 1.5 million have fled to Iran. Afghan guerrillas gain control of rural areas, and Soviet troops hold urban areas.
Newly formed Islamic militia, the Taliban, rises to power on promises of peace. Most Afghans, exhausted by years of drought, famine and war, approve of the Taliban for upholding traditional Islamic values. The Taliban outlaw cultivation of poppies for the opium trade, crack down on crime, and curtail the education and employment of women. Women are required to be fully veiled and are not allowed outside alone. Islamic law is enforced via public executions and amputations. The United States refuses to recognize the authority of the Taliban
UN imposes an air embargo and financial sanctions to force Afghanistan to hand over Osama bin Laden for trial.
October - US-led bombing of Afghanistan begins following the September 11 attacks on the United States. Anti-Taliban Northern Alliance forces enter Kabul shortly afterwards.