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Monday, 17 September, 2001, 14:28 GMT 15:28 UK
Focus on Afghanistan
Refugees stream through the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan before it was closed
Afghanistan faces a US ultimatum to hand over Osama Bin Laden, prime suspect for the attacks in New York and Washington, or face military action. Instead the country's clerics say Bin Laden should leave the country voluntarily.
BBC News Online looks at events in Afghanistan since the crisis began as well as giving key background information.

Taleban hold Bin Laden
30 September

Taleban Ambassador Abdul Salam Zaeef
Mullah Zaeef said the Taleban want to see proof of Bin Laden's guilt

The Taleban say Osama Bin Laden is in Afghanistan and is being kept in hiding. The Taleban Ambassador in Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef said Washington could break the stalemate if it were willing to provide proof of Bin Laden's role in the 11 September attacks.

 The BBC's Adam Brookes reports

Afghans torch US embassy
26 September

Demonstrators attack the embassy
Demonstrators attack the embassy

Pro-Taleban demonstrators have set fire to cars and buildings in the vacant US embassy compound in the Afghan capital, Kabul. The blaze was started during protests over possible American military action against Afghanistan, which is sheltering Saudi-born militant Osama Bin Laden.

 The BBC's Jacky Rowland reports

Taleban face total isolation
25 September

A newsreader on Saudi television
A newsreader on Saudi television

The Taleban are left virtually isolated after Saudi Arabia cuts off ties with the Afghan regime, which faces US-led action over Osama Bin Laden. The only country left with diplomatic ties with the Taleban is Pakistan.

 The BBC's James Robbins reports

Pakistan gripped by pro-Taleban strike
21 September

Anger at the decision to back the US
Anger at the decision to back the US

Police are out in force on the streets of Pakistan following a call for a strike against the government's support of US moves against Osama Bin Laden. The Taleban meanwhile refuse to hand bin Laden over to the US without evidence

 The BBC's Peter Biles reports

Taleban asks Bin Laden to leave
20 September

Two Afghan clerics
About 1,000 clerics are thought to have taken part in the grand council

A grand council of Moslem clerics says the Taleban government should ask Osama Bin Laden to leave the country. The Saudi-born militant who helped bring the Taleban to power is thought to be in hiding within the country probably in the mountains. The clerics also rule that if the US attacks Afghanistan they will declare a jihad or holy war.

 The BBC's Adam Mynott reports

 The BBC's Emal Pasarly explains how the grand council works

Pakistan delivers US ultimatum
19 September

Pro-Taleban protester
Pro-Taleban protesters send a message to Pakistan's goverment

A senior Pakistani delegation visited Afghanistan to deliver the US ultimatum to surrender Osama Bin Laden or face military action. The Pakistani government is supporting the US line against terrorism, but many individual Pakistanis sympathise with Bin Laden and his radical brand of Islamic fundamentalism.

 The BBC's Adam Brooks reports from Pakistan
 President Musharraf's address to the nation
 The BBC's Robin Denselow on the tense situation at the Afghan/Pakistan border

The Taleban regime

Taleban soldiers on a tank dating from the Soviet invasion
The Taleban army has around 50,000 fighters

Since the Taleban took control of Afghanistan following the defeat of the Soviet invaders it has become a notorious hate regime in the West, feared and misunderstood in equal measure. Its aim is to create a pure Islamic state under a strict religious code.

Workings of the Taleban
The BBC's James Robbins reports
 Regional relations and policy analyst Dr Iftikar Malik on the workings of the Taleban

Osama Bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden
Bin Laden - the Taleban has refused to hand him over before

BBC's Panorama programme profiles Osama Bin Laden, the world's most wanted man. It explores his military career, his hatred of the United States and the evidence that he heads an international terrorist group with cells in dozens of countries around the world.

World's Most Wanted
Panorama report on Osama Bin Laden
 The programme reporter and a key contributor discuss the programme

Bin Laden profile
In depth report on Osama Bin Laden

Click below for video reports on the day of the attacks and on the aftermath

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