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The following items form a partial timeline of the War in Afghanistan. For events prior to October 7, 2001, see 2001 in Afghanistan


  • October 7: (9 p.m. local time): the United States, supported by Britain, begins its attack on Afghanistan, launching bombs and cruise missiles against Taliban military and communications facilities and suspected terrorist training camps. Kabul, Kandahar, and Herat were hit.
  • October 9: A cruise missile kills four U.N. demining employees and injured four others in a building several miles east of Kabul.
  • October 26: Abdul Haq killed.
  • November 6 - Zari, Keshendeh and Aq-Kupruk fall to the Northern Alliance[1]
  • November 8 - Pakistan, being the only nation that still had diplomatic ties to the Taliban, asked Afghanistan's rulers to close their consulate in the city of Karachi.
  • November 9: Battle of Mazari Sharif.
  • November 10 - The Taliban and Northern Alliance fighters both claimed that the strategic northern Afghan city of Mazari Sharif was taken by Northern Alliance fighters.
  • November 11: Journalists Pierre Billaud, Johanne Sutton, and Volker Handloik are ambushed and killed.
  • November 12 - Taliban forces abandon Kabul ahead of advancing Northern Alliance troops.
  • November 14 - Northern Alliance fighters took over Kabul, the Afghan capital, and then controlled virtually all the north of Afghanistan.
  • November 16: Mohammed Atef, the military chief of al-Qaeda, killed in a US airstrike.
  • November 19: Four foreign journalists - Harry Burton, Maria Grazia Cutuli, Azizullah Haidari, and Julio Fuentes – were ambushed and killed.
  • November 25 – Northern Alliance gained control of Kunduz, the last Taliban stronghold in Northern Afghanistan, but only after Pakistani aircraft rescue several thousand Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters and their military advisers.[2][3] The Taliban then controlled less than 25% of the country, mainly around Kandahar in the south.
    • U.S. Marines landed in force by helicopter at Camp Rhino south of Kandahar and began preparing it for fixed wing aircraft. They also occupied the main road between Kandahar and Pakistan.
    • Battle of Qala-i-Jangi. Forces loyal to bin Laden smuggled weapons into their prison near Mazar i Sharif after surrendering at Kunduz. They attacked the Northern Alliance guards and storm an armory. U.S. Special Forces call in air attacks. Hundreds of prisoners are killed as well as 40 Alliance fighters and one U.S. CIA operative, Johnny Michael Spann. Spann becomes the first U.S. and Coalition combat casualty. A young American named John Walker Lindh is found in the midst of the rebellion and extradited to the US on terrorism charges.
  • December 6: Kandahar falls.
  • December: The Battle of Tora Bora against Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters; Osama bin Laden reportedly escapes during this battle.
  • December: The Dasht-i-Leili massacre, where hundreds of Taliban were allegedly suffocated to death while being transported in metal containers.
  • December: The Bonn Agreement establishes the postwar system of government for Afghanistan, and establishes the International Security Assistance Force.
  • December 21: The interim Afghan government is sworn in.


  • January 4: First US soldier dies due to hostile fire.
  • January 24, the Hazar Qadam raid sees Americans accidentally attack an allied compound collecting weapons for their Karzai government
  • February 14: Abdul Rahman, Afghan Aviation and Tourism Minister, killed by angry Hajj pilgrims.
  • March 1: Operation Anaconda against al-Qaeda fighters launched.
  • April 17: The 87 year-old exiled king of Afghanistan, Mohammed Zahir Shah, returns.
  • April 18: Tarnak Farm incident leaves four Canadians dead from friendly fire.
  • June 11: King Zahir Shah opens the first post-Taliban loya jirga.[4]
  • July 1: In Uruzgan province, a US AC-130 gunship struck a wedding party, killing 48 civilians and injuring 117. The United States claimed their plane had come under attack from anti-aircraft fire before the strike.
  • July 6: Vice President Abdul Qadir assassinated in Kabul.
  • September 5: 2002 Kabul bombing kills 30 people.
    • Assailants try to kill Hamburger


  • August 11 – NATO officially takes command of peacekeeping in Afghanistan.
  • December 14 – 2003 loya jirga convened to consider the proposed Afghan Constitution.


  • January 4 – Constitution approved by loya jirga.
  • January 26 – Constitution signed by President Hamid Karzai.
  • October 9 – Afghan presidential election, 2004. In the country’s first direct election, Hamid Karzai wins the presidency with 55.4% of the vote.


  • June 28: Operation Red Wings results in the death of 19 Americans and many Taliban fighters.
  • September 18: Afghan parliamentary election, 2005.






  • February 12: Five innocent civilians including two pregnant women and a teenage girl killed in the botched Khataba raid.
  • February 21: Uruzgan helicopter attack kills 27-33 civilians including four women and a child in Uruzgan province.
  • Spring: Operation Moshtarak Phase I is led by US Marines to retake Marjah, in Helmand Province, from the Taliban.
  • Spring-Summer: U.S. Surge to Afghanistan sees its peak, as 20,000 soldiers are deployed to the south
  • June 23: General Stanley A. McChrystal, commander of the ISAF, resigns after controversial comments critical of the Obama administration were published in a magazine.
  • July 23: The Sangin airstrike kills a large number of Afghan civilians mostly women and children in Nangarhar province.
  • July 25: Wikileaks releases 90,000 leaked documents pertaining to the war in Afghanistan.
  • September 18: Afghan Parliamentary Elections are held, widely criticized as fraudulent, although with notable instances of electoral institution impartiality.
  • Fall: Operation Moshtarak Phases II and III are held in Kandahar, driving the Taliban out of traditional safe-havens
  • Fall: Command of Regional Command South rotates from British to American command.


  • January 26: The Afghan National Assembly is inaugurated.[10]
  • May 1: The number one Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is killed by U.S. Navy SEALs in Abbottabad, Pakistan, just miles from Islamabad.
  • August 6: A CH-47 Chinook helicopter transporting 30 U.S soldiers (including 17 Navy SEALs), 1 civilian interpreter and 7 Afghan troops is shot down in Wardak Province by RPG-wielding Taliban insurgents. There were no survivors of the crash. This incident marks the deadliest day for U.S. Forces in Afghanistan since the invasion in 2001.
  • August 11: Vengeance is exacted on the 11 Taliban militants involved in downing the CH-47 Chinook, who are killed in an F-16 airstrike. Meanwhile, five ISAF service members die following an improvised explosive device attack in the southern provinces.




  1. Independent Online, Taliban commander captured in Rebel victory, November 6, 2001
  2. Hersh, Seymour M. (2009-01-07). "Annals of National Security: The Getaway". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 2005-06-20. Retrieved 2010-08-14. 
  3. 6:37 p.m. ET. "Breaking News, Weather, Business, Health, Entertainment, Sports, Politics, Travel, Science, Technology, Local, US & World News". Retrieved 2010-08-14. [dead link]
  4. "South Asia | Former king urges Afghan unity". BBC News. 2002-06-11. Retrieved 2010-08-14. 
  5. Matthias Gebauer (6 August 2010). "Germany to Pay $500,000 for Civilian Bombing Victims". Der Spiegel.,1518,710439,00.html. Retrieved 9 August 2010. 
  6. "French troops spearhead assault in Afghanistan". BBC News. 2009-12-17. Retrieved 2012-01-21. 
  7. "French Afghan assault concludes". BBC News. 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2012-01-21. 
  8. "French troops lead Afghan attack on Taliban". 2009-12-17. Retrieved 2012-01-21. 
  9. Karim Talbi (2009-12-18). "Afghanistan: démonstration de force de la Légion, cinq Américains blessés". Archived from the original on 2009-12-23. Retrieved 2012-01-21. 
  10. After Months of Turmoil, Karzai Opens Parliament

See also

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