Islamic fundamentalist nationalist movement in Afghanistan which has its roots in neighboring Pakistan.
The Taliban (which translates as “students”) were in power in Afghanistan from 1996-2001 and enforced their strict interpretation of the Sharia law. Since the US-led invasion in 2001 and the toppling of the Taliban regime, the insurgents are again on the rise.
India's move to scrap Kashmir's special status has angered neighboring Pakistan, which claims the region as its own. Islamabad is now busy dealing with the Kashmir issue. Could it hamper Pakistan's efforts to broker a peace deal between the US and the Taliban?
The UN has urged forces in Afghanistan to immediately "reduce the terrible harm being inflicted" on civilians. The US and allied forces in Afghanistan have killed 717 civilians during the first half of the year.