Afghanistan in numbers: how has the country changed in the last 20 years?

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The Taliban have taken control of Afghanistan, nearly two decades after being toppled by a US-led coalition.

Afghans have experienced changes in their lives since the Taliban were in power, in particular, many girls and women have been able to attend school and university.

Now they face an uncertain future.

Encouraged by the US troop withdrawal, and facing little resistance from Afghan forces, the Taliban quickly regained power within a few weeks.

Many civilians are trying to flee the country, instead of living under strict Islamic law, Sharia, imposed by the Taliban.

The 20 years of fighting have claimed the lives of thousands of fighters from both sides, both in Afghanistan and across the border from Pakistan.

The civilian population has also been caught in the crossfire: many deaths were caused by coalition aerial bombardments and targeted attacks by the Taliban.

The number of civilian casualties in 2021 had already surpassed the figure for the same period in 2020, before the Taliban advanced by taking control of the country.

The United Nations attributed the recent surge in civilian deaths to the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) – and targeted attacks.

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