Major events in the life of Taliban leader Mullah Omar

AP News
Posted: Jul 29, 2015 7:38 AM
Major events in the life of Taliban leader Mullah Omar

Here is a list of major events in the life of reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar:

1962 — Omar is born in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan. He spends much of his early life in the village of Singhesar in neighboring Kandahar province.

1979 — Omar joins rebels fighting against troops of the former Soviet Union, who had occupied the country to support a leftist government in Kabul.

1989 — Omar reportedly loses his right eye to shrapnel fighting Soviet troops outside of the city of Kandahar.

Feb. 15, 1989 — The last Soviet troops pull out of Afghanistan. A civil war follows.

May 1996 — Al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden flees Sudan for Afghanistan.

September 1996 — The Taliban takes Kabul, seizing control of nearly all of Afghanistan and imposing its harsh version of Islamic law on the country's citizens.

March 2001 — Omar orders the destruction of 1,500-year-old towering statues of Buddha carved into a cliff in central Afghanistan, denouncing them as idols.

Sept. 11, 2001 — Al-Qaida launches Sept. 11 attacks, hijacking airplanes in the U.S. to topple the World Trade Center in New York and attack the Pentagon in Washington. More than 3,000 people are killed in the largest terrorist act in U.S. history.

Oct. 7, 2001 — U.S. and British forces begin airstrikes in Afghanistan after the Taliban refuse to hand over bin Laden.

Nov. 13, 2001 — Taliban fighters abandon Kabul after weeks of air assaults. About 1,300 U.S. troops were involved in the offensive.

Dec. 7, 2001 — Taliban stronghold Kandahar falls to U.S. forces and Afghan supporters. Bin Laden and Omar escape, with Taliban leader last seen on a motorcycle. He is never seen again in public.

May 2, 2011 — U.S. special forces kill bin Laden in a raid on his hiding place in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad.

July 29 — Afghan officials say they are investigating claims Omar died.