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Who Are the Northern Alliance?

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The New Afghan Government
The Attack on Afghanistan
Who Are the Taliban?
Who Is Osama Bin Laden?
Afghanistan Close-Up Map
Afghanistan Area Map

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Afghanistan: Veiled in Fear
Historical Timeline of Afghanistan

The Northern Alliance is a group of Afghan soldiers who want to take their country back from the Taliban. They have almost succeeded.

After many long years keeping Soviet troops from taking over their country, the people of Afghanistan descended into civil war soon after the Soviets left in 1989. Out of this chaos arose the Taliban, a tough group of fighters who took over big cities like Kandahar and Kabul (the Afghan capital). In the late 1990s, they declared themselves in charge of the entire country.

The Northern Alliance, meanwhile, controlled about 5 percent of the country, in the extreme north.

The Alliance is made up of people from three ethnic groups: Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Hazaras. They have struggled in the past to agree on much of anything, but they are now united in their desire to overthrow the Taliban. Alliance leader Burhanuddin Rabbani is still recognized as president of Afghanistan by the United Nations. A man named Abdullah Abdullah is foreign minister, the one who talks to the media.

Unlike the Taliban, who want to keep the people from mounting any sort of protest, the Northern Alliance seems content to drive the Taliban from power and then allow a new government to be set up.