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Designed and developed by Stuart Gradwell and Helen Robinson.

Heroes Past & Present



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June 2001


Afghanistan shares borders with China, Iran,Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. It has strategic importance along the “silk route”.

It is rich in natural resources such asnatural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromites, talc, arites,

sulphur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semi precious stones.

Where did it happen?

Why did it happen?

During the Cold War the Soviet Union invaded in an attempt to support the communist regime and defeat the Mujahidin. Despite fighting for many years, Soviet troops were unable to stabilise the area and suffered a humiliating retreat, leaving the Mujahidin to rule the country.

The organisation was quite unstable and the resulting infighting led to the formation of the Taliban. Their rule gave the country the stability it needed but it had a very poor record for human rights. The citizens were oppressed and fearful. The Islamic extremism associated with the regime resulted in condemnation from many countries.