- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Key dates in modern Afghan history:

1919: Afghanistan wins independence from nominal British control.

1973: Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan ousts his cousin King Zahir Shah in bloodless coup, becomes a president and declares Afghanistan a republic.

1978: Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan and 17 others are executed inside the presidential palace in a communist-inspired coup. Their bodies are buried in secret mass graves.

1979: Soviet Union troops invade Afghanistan.

1989: Soviet Union troops withdraw from Afghanistan.

1996: Taliban take over Kabul, following years of civil war that followed the Soviet departure.

2001: Following al-Qaida’s Sept. 11 attacks, the U.S. troops invade, ousting the al-Qaida-allied Taliban.

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