January 2 - In Ghor province, Afghanistan, Taliban fighter planes bombed the Ghalmin district in support of a two-pronged infantry attack in which two opposition soldiers were wounded and six militia men killed.
January 3 - Taliban forces pounded opposition positions with heavy artillery initiating a counter-attack to retake the Ghalmin district in Ghor province, Afghanistan.
Fighting between the Taliban and opposition forces was reported in northeastern Afghanistan near the border with Tajikistan.
A meeting held in Panjab District of Bamyan province, Afghanistan was attended by a large number of the people including Ustad Akbari. Leaders denounced the conspiracies and plots of anti-Islamic states, including the United States and Russia.
The United Nations announced that the number of its foreign workers returning to Afghanistan had reached 24, and would increase, but not go beyond 34. Less than two weeks earlier, the U.N. had pulled all of its workers from the nation to coincide with sanction activities.
January 4 - A Chinese delegation of the Chinese OFEM company arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan to assist the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan with the revival of hydel power projects. The delegation met with Taliban Minister for Water and Power Maulvi Ahmed Jan, visited the Sarobi dam and pledged to install new turbine in the power house. Delegates also made commitment about the installation of mobile telephone system in Afghanistan.
The Taliban admit that resistance forces have captured the strategically important town of Bamiyan after heavy fighting.
January 5 - In Patras, Greece, while attempted to board a ship bound for Italy, more than 20 IraqiKurds clashed with 15 Afghans. Eight were injured and taken to a hospital for treatment. The rest were arrested by authorities.
Taliban leader Mohammad Omar decrees that religious conversion away from Islam will be punishable by death. Omar suggests that outside forces are attempting to undermine the Islamic regime by covertly preaching Christianity and Judaism in the country.
Early January - The UNHCR expresses serious concern for some 10,000 Afghan refugees camping on the country's northern border with Tajikistan.
Mid-January - The International Red Cross (ICRC) announces that it will end its relief mission in Kabul, saying that the Afghan capital is no longer adversely affected by the country's civil war. The 20,000 families that have been receiving aid from the ICRC since 1994 will be given their last shipment of cooking oil, rice, soap, and wheat in March.
Mid-January - Supporters of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance reportedly retake the town of Yakawlang after heavy fighting. The UN reports that Taliban forces killed around 100 civilians when they reentered the town in December 2000 after briefly losing control of it. The UN also says that large numbers of refugees have fled the town despite severe winter weather.
January 22 - The Taliban regime reveals Afghanistan's revamped air traffic control system, marking the first major improvement in the country's infrastructure for years. The upgrade is likely to increase the amount of air traffic flying over Afghanistan in future.
Late January - 110 internal refugees sheltering in the west of the country die in one night as temperatures drop to -25 °C.
Late January - The UN World Food Program (WFP) warns that the level of malnutrition among children in the north of the country is alarming.
February 14 - The headquarters of the UN Special Mission to Afghanistan (UNSMA) are closed by the Taliban authorities in retaliation for the U.S. government's closure of the Taliban offices in New York.
Mid-February - The UK-based human rights group Amnesty International condemns the apparently summary execution of six men by the rebel Northern Alliance.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch produces video evidence of the murder of around 170 men by Taliban forces in December 2000. The footage shows the execution of local men rounded up by Taliban forces reentering the town of Yakawlang, which had been briefly held by rebel forces late in 2000. It also depicts a mass grave at a nearby village.
Late February - In response to allegations of atrocities the Taliban authorities accuse rebel forces of killing 120 civilians during their three-day occupation of Bamiyan earlier in the month.
Taliban leader Mohammad Omar decrees that all statues in the country should be destroyed as they represent an insult to Islam and are being worshipped as false gods. The order leads to the destruction of priceless historic artifacts across the country including the world's tallest statue of an upright Buddha in Bamiyan.
Despite UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's reassurances in early March that the plight of the hundreds of thousands of internal refugees has not been forgotten by the international community, the UN withholds its aid to refugees stranded on the border with neighbouring Tajikistan later in the month. The suspension comes amid fears that the aid was being subverted by armed groups. Just a day before the announcement Annan urged both sides in the country's civil war to reject further violence.
An article published in March 2001 by Jane's, a media outlet serving the military and intelligence communities, suggests that the United States had already been planning and taking just such action against the Taliban six months before September 11, 2001. According to Jane's, Washington was giving the Northern Alliance information and logistics support as part of concerted action with India, Iran, and Russia against Afghanistan's Taliban regime, with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan being used as bases.
Early April - former communist general Abdul Rashid Dostum returns from self-exile in Turkey to boost resistance to the Taliban regime. He was forced to flee the country after his stronghold in the north was attacked by Taliban forces in 1998. He meets with his former bitter enemy, the senior commander of anti-Taliban forces, Ahmad Shah Masood, to discuss plans for a new northern front. Morale among opposition forces is reported to have been boosted by Dostum's return. The meeting is reported to have taken place in the Panjshir valley in the province of Badakhshan, the only part of Afghanistan under full opposition control.
April 16 - The chair of the Taliban Interim Council, Mohammad Rabbani, dies. He was fighting liver cancer in a hospital in neighbouring Pakistan. His body is repatriated to Kandahar by a UN plane, permitted to operate on humanitarian grounds despite the air embargo.
April 17 - The second of five rounds of polioimmunizations to be held this year begins after the Taliban and the Afghan Northern Alliance agreed to a week-long ceasefire. The ceasefire enables tens of thousands of staff and volunteers to operate freely to carry out a house-to-house effort to immunize all children under five years of age.
April 19 - In an effort to find out how western aid is being used, three U.S. officials complete a rare visit to Afghanistan.
April 24 - The UN declares the Afghan people the most displaced in the world. It estimates that there are 700,000 internal refugees in Afghanistan as well as at least 100,000 abroad. Aid workers also voice concern at the health situation in refugee camps and warn of impending epidemics.
Early May - The anti-Taliban alliance claims to have taken control of key settlements in the eastern Kunar province, northeast of Kabul. The Taliban regime denies the claims and counters that its forces have repelled a brief occupation of the central town of Yakawlang, near Bamiyan.
May 17 - The U.S. announces that it will extend a $43 million aid package direct to projects and facilities in Afghanistan, bypassing the Taliban regime. The offer comes amid spiraling fears of impending famine.
May 20 - The Taliban regime closes the UN offices in Herat, Jalalabad, Kandahar, and Mazar-e-Sharif in protest over UN sanctions.
Late May - Afghan Hindus are ordered to wear yellow identity labels to differentiate themselves from their Muslim neighbours. Although the Taliban regime claims that the plan is to protect Hindus from persecution by religious police, Hindu groups complain that the labels amount to "patent discrimination."
The Taliban authorities ban female aid workers from driving. Although the edict is unlikely to affect larger aid groups it is feared it may hinder the work of small-scale operations.
June 1 - Taliban forces begin a fresh attack on opposition positions in the centre and the northeastern Takhar province, around Taloqan.
June 6 - An Uzbekistani Sukhoi Su-24 bomber is shot down during a raid against Taliban armour near Heiratan, killing the crew.
Early June - Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar warns that his regime would consider any UN monitoring of the country's borders as a hostile act.
Mid-June - The anti-Taliban alliance accuses the Islamic regime of systematically destroying the central town of Yakawlang which has repeatedly changed hands between the two warring sides. They say that most of the town's 60,000 residents have now fled.
June 21 - The UN announces that it will establish large-scale refugee camps in the north of the country to help protect 10,000 displaced Afghans.
July 2 - Taliban Deputy Foreign Minister Mullah Abdul Jalil told U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan William Milam that Osama bin Laden had not been "convicted and that the Taliban still consider him innocent."
July 3 - The Taliban regime reacts angrily to the U.S. renewal of trade sanctions. The U.S. authorities cite the regime's apparent protection of Saudi "terrorist" Osama bin Laden.
Mid-July - The Internet is outlawed by the governing Taliban in an effort to prevent the spread of anti-Islamic material. The regime also says it will no longer recognize university qualifications obtained abroad, in particular those from the Afghan University in Peshawar, Pakistan.
Mid-July - A cholera epidemic reportedly kills 45 people in a single day in the northern Balkh province. The area is on the front line between Taliban and opposition forces.
July 30 - The UN Security Council votes to employ new measures to help enforce the arms embargo on Afghanistan. Monitors will be stationed in neighbouring countries to ensure the sanctions are upheld.
August 26 - 438 asylum seekers (420 from Afghanistan) were saved from a sinking Indonesian vessel by the MS Tampa. The captain planned to take the asylum seekers to Indonesia, but the asylum seekers apparently threatened the captain and allegedly said they would jump overboard unless they were taken to Australia, prompting the captain set sail for Christmas Island instead. The Australian government however refused permission for the ship to enter Australia's territorial waters.
August 29 - The captain of the MS Tampa, carrying 438 asylum seekers (420 from Afghanistan), declared a state of emergency and proceeded to enter Australian territorial waters, despite Australian government orders not to. The Australian government responded by dispatching Australian troops to board the ship and prevent it from approaching any further to Christmas Island. The MS Tampa captain was instructed to move the ship back into international waters. He refused. The Norwegian government warned the Australian government not to seek to force the ship to return to international waters against the captain's will. The Australian government tried to persuade Indonesia to accept the asylum seekers; Indonesia refused. The refugees were loaded onto an Australian Navy vessel. Most were transported to the small island country of Nauru and the rest to New Zealand.
September 2 - 438 asylum seekers (420 from Afghanistan) saved August 26 remained on board the MS Tampa, a Norwegian freighter, stranded in the Indian Ocean. An Australian troop ship was en route to transfer them to Papua New Guinea, where they would be split up and sent to New Zealand and to Nauru. Mahmoud Saikal, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan consul to Australia, praised Naura and New Zealand, and condemned Australia.
September 5 - The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan denied Western diplomats access to a court where eight foreign aid workers were on trial for promoting Christianity, but Chief Justice Noor Mohammad Saqib said the defendants could hire foreign lawyers. He also said that the defendants could face hanging. Despite repeated requests, Australian, German and U.S. consuls in Kabul had been denied any meetings with Taliban authorities for a week.
September 6 - The United Nations special envoy to Afghanistan, Francesc Vendrell, arrived in Kabul, saying the trial of the arrested foreign aid workers would be meaningful only if it is held in an open court. Despite an earlier promise to do so, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan had not allowed journalists, Western diplomats or relatives of the accused any access to the proceedings.
The World Food Programme announced that Afghanistan was on the brink of famine, and appealed for $151 million to fund an "emergency operation".
The Central Board of Revenue of Pakistan approved zero-rated export of cement and tobacco leaf to Central Asian Republics and Afghanistan via land route.
September 7 - The trial of eight foreign aid workers detained in Afghanistan on charges of preaching Christianity went into recess for a weekly holiday.
September 8 - Eight foreign aid workers on trial for promoting Christianity in Afghanistan appeared for the first time in the Supreme Court, and said they were innocent of proselytising. The hearing was presided over by Chief Justice Noor Mohammad Saqib and 18 other judges. One of the six female defendants was wearing the head-to-toe cloak which is mandatory for Afghan women in public, while the others had veils over their hair only. The defendants walked slowly into the court under the escort of armed guards, who did not allow them to answer questions from journalists waiting outside the court. The mother of one of the US prisoners and the father of another accompanied their daughters into the court, but the cousin of the Australian man was kept waiting outside along with Australian, German and US diplomats.
September 9 - Afghan opposition leader Ahmed Shah Massoud was assassinated. A suicide bomber, posing as a journalist, blew himself up after gaining access to Masood's office. The suicide bomber was killed along with one of Masood's followers, and the Afghan commander's guards killed the second person posing as a journalist. The terrorists first conducted interviews with opposition soldiers in Shomali before meeting with Massoud. The bomb was either hidden in the camera or concealed around the waist of one of the terrorists. Massoud did not die immediately, and underwent emergency surgery at a hospital in Tajikistan.
A formal National Security Presidential Directive submitted on September 9, 2001, had outlined essentially the same war plan that the White House, the CIA and the Pentagon put into action after the September 11 attacks. The plan dealt with all aspects of a war against al-Qaeda, ranging from diplomatic initiatives to military operations in Afghanistan, including outlines to persuade Afghanistan's Taliban government to turn bin Laden over to the United States, with provisions to use military force if it refused.
The Afghan Supreme Court resumed the trial of eight foreign aid workers held for allegedly preaching Christianity, but no detainees, diplomats or journalists were present.
September 11 - Suicide attacks on the U.S. kill more than 3,000 people and destroy the two towers of the World Trade Center and part of the Pentagon, using three hijacked passenger airliners as missiles, with a fourth, also hijacked, crashing in a field in Pennsylvania. Early speculation about the source of the attack centered on Saudi-born terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, who was living in and working from Afghanistan. Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan leaders condemned the attacks and rejected suggestions that Osama bin Laden could be behind them.
Rocket explosions and anti-aircraft fire rocked Kabul, Afghanistan. Both the U.S. and Afghan oppositional forces denied involvement.
Tetsu Nakamura, a Japanese doctor, traveled from Peshawar in Pakistan to Afghanistan to evacuate Japanese health clinic staffers. He stayed in Jalalabad for three days, providing medical attention to refugees.
Three Western diplomats, representing eight aid workers on trial for allegedly preaching Christianity, left Afghanistan amid an exodus of foreigners concerned over possible U.S. attacks. Family members of the detainees also left the country. However, the eight aid workers remained in the custody of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan militia as an Islamic court continued their trial behind closed doors.
The World Food Programme warned that, following exodus of aid workers, about 1.5 million Afghans could emigrate out of Afghanistan in search of food. The U.N. estimated that, to date, Afghanistan had 900,000 internally displaced persons and that there were more than three million Afghan refugees in Iran and Pakistan alone. Furthermore, the U.N. estimated that a quarter of the population (5.5 million people) would be reliant on food aid if they were to stay alive through November.
Akil Akilov, the prime minister of Tajikistan, said that his nation was not yet prepared to guarantee the United States air space should the Bush administration decide to launch retaliatory strikes against suspected terrorist bases in Afghanistan.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said that Moscow would not allow NATO forces to be stationed in any of the former Soviet republics.
September 15 - United States Secretary of StateColin Powell said that Pakistan agreed to cooperate if the United States decided to strike Afghanistan. The Washington Post reported Pakistani officials had agreed to allow the United States to use Pakistani airspace in the event of a military strike against Afghanistan, but Pakistan would not involve its forces in any action beyond its own geographical boundaries.
Mullah Mohammed Omar issued a call for jihad against the United States and its supporters if they attacked or assisted an attack on Afghanistan. The Taliban also asked all foreigners to leave Afghanistan in view of a possible attack by the United States.
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov expressed implicit Russian support for a possible U.S. armed intervention in Afghanistan.
India, which did not share a formal military relationship with the United States, decided to allow its facilities to be used for strikes against Afghanistan. India also provided the United States with intelligence information on training camps of Islamic militants in the region.
A Russian division of 7,000 men based in Tajikistan, which borders Afghanistan, was placed on heightened combat alert. However, Tajikistan announced it would not allow Western nations to launch attacks on Afghanistan from its territory. Tajikistan was struggling to recover from a five-year civil war between Islamic opposition forces and a hard-line secular government, and was heavily dependent on Russia for military and political support.
The last of Western aid workers left Afghanistan.
To date, Afghans made up the single biggest refugee group in the world with more than 2.6 million in exile, mainly in Pakistan and Iran.
September 17 - Pakistan placed its army on alert ahead of a possible U.S. attack on Afghanistan.
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei condemned the September 11th attacks but added that attacking Afghanistan might cause a human catastrophe and could trigger more problems for the United States.
Afghanistan shut down its airspace, two weeks after threatening to close it if the United Nations did not lift sanctions against Ariana Afghan Airlines. Although no flights were landing in Afghanistan, many flights were flying across Afghan airspace. Each time an aircraft flew over Afghanistan the airline had to pay Ariana $400. The money was deposited in accounts in Geneva that were frozen because of the sanctions.
Pakistan's army reported that Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan troops of between 20,000 and 25,000 had been deployed just across the border from the Khyber Pass. A Pakistani army officer said Pakistan had reinforced its own troops fanned out along the region.
The BBC News reported that Niaz Naik, a former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, claimed that he had been told by senior American officials in mid-July 2001 that military action against Afghanistan would begin by the middle of October at the latest. The message was conveyed during a meeting on Afghanistan between senior U.S., Russian, Iranian, and Pakistani diplomats. The meeting was the third in a series of meetings on Afghanistan, with the previous meeting having been held in March 2001. During the July 2001 meeting, Naik was told that Washington would launch its military operation from bases in Tajikistan – where American advisers were already in place – and that the wider objective was to topple the Taliban regime and install another government in place.
Afghan rebel leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, from his safe house in Iran, condemned the potential attack by the United States on Afghanistan, and threatened to band with other groups to resist it. Hekmatyar said also that he had no reason to disbelieve Osama bin Laden's denial of involvement in the September 11th attacks.
In Afghanistan, a meeting of the shura, a collection of 1,000 village clerics and mullahs, was scheduled to decide the fate of Osama bin Laden, but the council could not reach Kabul in time. The meeting was postponed one day.
The National Post reported that Iran sent a message to the United States government via Canada stating it would not oppose targeted military strikes against those responsible for the September 11th attacks.
September 19 - Official beginning of United States' combat activities in Afghanistan, as designated by president George W. Bush in his "Afghanistan Combat Zone Executive Order" on December 12, 2001.
The United States ordered over 100 military aircraft to the Persian Gulf region.
A Pakistani delegation sent to Kabul, Afghanistan to convince the Taliban movement to hand over Osama bin Laden also visited the eight detained Shelter Now International workers on trial for spreading Christianity. The delegation spokesman said the detainees appeared well and in good spirits.
Iran set up refugee camps on Afghan soil and asked relief organizations to help provide services to the camps. Iran also ordered its troops to seal its border with Afghanistan. Iran also stated that it would not allow the U.S. warplanes to use Iranian air space to attack Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan, the shura, a council of 1,000 village clerics and mullahs, issued an edict that called on the Taliban to persuade Osama bin Laden to leave Afghanistan, but the United States rejected the suggestion.
In Karachi, Pakistan, an estimated 40,000 people protested against potential U.S. strikes on Afghanistan. Four protesters were killed and ten police officers were injured. Other protests in Peshawar (10,000 protesters), Quetta (3,000 protesters), and Islamabad (1,500 protesters) occurred without incident.
September 25 - During a visit by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, when a reporter asked if the United States should help Afghan people liberate themselves from Taliban rule, president George W. Bush said, "We're not into nation-building; we're focused on justice."
September 26 - An article in The Guardian on September 26, 2001, also adds evidence that there were already signs in the first half of 2001 that Washington was moving to threaten Afghanistan militarily from the north, by way of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. A U.S. Department of Defense official, Dr. Jeffrey Starr, visited Tajikistan in January 2001 and U.S. General Tommy Franks visited the country in May 2001, conveying a message from the Bush administration that the US considered Tajikistan "a strategically significant country". However, this assertion overlooks the fact that these relationships had been ongoing since the breakup of the USSR, and that under Clinton similar statements had been made by military officials. U.S. Army Rangers were training special troops inside Kyrgyzstan, and there were unconfirmed reports that Tajik and Uzbek special troops were training in Alaska and Montana. Reliable western military sources say a U.S. contingency plan existed on paper by the end of the summer to attack Afghanistan from the north, with U.S. military advisors already in place in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
1 p.m. EDT: President Bush makes a televised speech announcing the attack and discussing further US's intentions, including humanitarian aid."On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against al Qaeda training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan." ... "We are the friends of almost a billion worldwide who practice the Islamic faith. The United States of America is an enemy of those who aid terrorists and of the barbaric criminals who profane a great religion by committing murder in its name." The FBI, using the National Alert Network, asks law enforcement agencies across the United States to go to their highest alert status against possible terrorist attacks. The security perimeter around the White House is increased. A peace rally of ten to twelve thousand people is held in New York City. They march from Union Square, the central spontaneous September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack/Memorials and Services site in Manhattan, to Times Square, cheering the police at the beginning of the march. The list of about twelve speakers was cut to three or four by the police, and they were herded at the end into a one-lane-wide "bullpen". The New York Times places their coverage of the march on page B12. By 8 p.m. EDT, there had been three waves of attacks.
8:35 p.m. EDT: BBC News tentatively reports a fourth wave of attacks.
9:45 p.m. EDT: The first reports of casualties.
10 p.m. EDT: Rudy Giuliani in a news conference announces more National Guard and policemen had been assigned to New York City.
October 8 - Protest rallies lead to three casualties in the Gaza Strip and one in Pakistan. Palestinian authorities shoot and kill two students, one a 13-year old. Crowds then ransack Palestinian police buildings. In Pakistan, protests take place in Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, and near the Khyber Pass border crossing. The most violent protests in Pakistan are in Quetta (60 miles from Afghan border), where one person is shot and killed, the central police station, United Nations buildings, and several shops and movie theaters are set on fire and looted, and a police subinspector is kidnapped. Ten thousand students at three universities protest without incident in Cairo, Egypt.
12:00 p.m. EDT (approx): Department of Defense officials report a second round of attacks. Electricity in Kabul is again cut off.
1:00 p.m. EDT (approx): The English journalist Yvonne Ridley is released by the Taliban and arrived at the Pakistan border.
1:08 p.m. EDT: Donald Rumsfeld and General Myers convene a press briefing. As of midnight, allied forces had struck 31 targets, including early warning radars, ground forces, command and control facilities, airfields and aircraft. "Strikes are continuing as we speak." About 10 bombers and 10 carrier-based jets participated. "We will use some Tomahawk missiles today from ships." No cruise missiles are launched from bombers. Leaflets are dropped that include some symbols and figures.
October 9 - In a news conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, a United Nations spokeswoman reports that a cruise missile killed four U.N. employees and injured four others in a building several miles east of Kabul. The casualties were Afghans who were security guards in an Afghan Technical Consultancy, the U.N. de-mining agency building. (Afghanistan was, at that time, the most heavily mined nation on the planet.) German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder meets with President Bush in Washington, D.C.
October 11 - 8 p.m. EDT: President Bush holds the first primetime presidential news conference since 1995. He had this message for the Taliban: "If you cough him up and his people today that we'll reconsider what we're doing to your country. You still have a second chance. Just bring him in, and bring his leaders and lieutenants and other thugs and criminals with him."
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.
Three Japanese warships with several hundred sailors left port for the Indian Ocean. The goal was to provide the U.S.-led forces with non-combat military support. This was Japan's first mission of this kind since World War II.
Prime minister Wim Kok of the Netherlands announced that 1000 soldiers would join the efforts of the war against terrorism.
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 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 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. 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.
Forces loyal to bin Laden smuggled weapons into Qala E-jangi prison near Mazari Sharif, where they were held 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 Micheal 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.
Four British Special Air Service special forces troops were injured inside Afghanistan and evacuated to hospital in Britain although the time and location of their operation was not known.
Taliban deputy interior minister, and "highest ranking Taliban defector to date". According to Peterson this defector described the American bombardment as very effective, "Kabul city has seen many rockets, but this was a different thing" and "the American bombing of Taliban trenches, cars, and troops caused us to be defeated. All ways were blocked, so there was no way to carry food or ammunition to the front. All trenches of the Taliban were destroyed, and many people were killed."
December 6 - Mullah Omar began to signal that he was ready to surrender Kandahar to tribal forces. His forces were by now broken by heavy U.S. bombing, and he was living constantly on the run within Kandahar to avoid becoming a target. Recognizing that he could not hold on to Kandahar much longer, he began signaling a willingness in negotiations to turn the city over to the tribal leaders, assuming that he and his top men received some protection.
December 18 - According to a December 18, 2001, article published in the New York Times, the US and Northern Alliance had started to diverge over the American aerial policy.
"They have got their own program. Last night, they even bombed us. The Americans are going to be restless until Osama is really killed or somebody gives them a document that Osama has been killed."
The article quoted a senior American military official, who stated:
"Look, these Eastern Shura are basically a group of village leaders. So if the al Qaeda in their area have been driven off, and the caves and tunnels around their areas are now safe again to go in, the battle is basically over from their point of view.
"But we want to get a lot of those guys who are now fleeing and trying to get away. We want to get bin Laden. So, yeah, we've got different objectives right now."
U.S. and Northern Alliance forces are aided by so-called Eastern Alliance of ethnic Pashtuns in driving the Taliban from control of all areas of Afghanistan. U.S. attacks target al-Qaeda strongholds in Tora Bora near the Pakistan border. Many al-Qaeda are taken prisoner by U.S, Pakistan and the new UN-approved interim government of Afghanistan. UN peacekeepers move into Afghanistan.
^Scott Peterson (December 4, 2001). "A view from behind the lines in the US air war: Special operatives are key to the success of American airstrikes in Afghanistan". Christian Science Monitor.|accessdate= requires |url= (help)
^ abMichael R. Gordon, (December 18, 2001). "As Afghan war winds down, allies are split: Anti-Taliban forces want territory, but U.S. is focused on bin Laden". New York Times.|accessdate= requires |url= (help)