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This Is What The First Days Of The War In Afghanistan Looked Like

On Oct. 7, 2001 — 17 years ago today — the US carried out strikes on Taliban forces in Afghanistan in retaliation for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. These pictures show the events that unfolded in the first year of a war that continues to this day.

Posted on October 7, 2018, at 11:41 a.m. ET

Mario Tama / Getty Images

Copies of newspapers are on sale with front-page stories about the American-led coalition strikes against Afghanistan on Oct. 8, 2001, in New York City.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

People watch the television as President George W. Bush announces that the US and Britain had started bombing Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001, at The Palms restaurant in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Chris Hondros / Getty Images

Protesters burn an American flag outside of the Madani Darul Uloom mosque on Oct. 8, 2001, in Peshawar, Pakistan, near the border of Afghanistan.

Nicolas Asfouri / AFP / Getty Images

Anti-war protesters rally against the US bombing of Afghanistan in London on Oct. 21, 2001.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Police officers arrest anti-war protesters on Oct. 8, 2001, in front of the White House.

Darren Mccollester / Getty Images

A signed American flag sits in the US Marine Corps public affairs office on Nov. 28, 2001, in New York City. The flag, which once flew at Ground Zero and became an impromptu memorial, will be sent to Marines fighting in Afganistan.

Getty Images

A B-1B Lancer heavy bomber from the US Air Force 28th Air Expeditionary Wing drops its arsenal in support of strikes on Afghanistan in this image released on Dec. 7, 2001.

Erik De Castro / Reuters

Anti-Taliban Afghan fighters watch several explosions from US bombings in the Tora Bora mountains in Afghanistan on Dec. 16, 2001.

Getty Images

Two men mourn the death of their brother after he was killed when US jets bombed a marble tile factory on Nov. 11, 2001, in Kabul, Afghanistan. The man was a guard at the factory, which showed no signs of housing Taliban military equipment or personnel.

Jim Hollander / AFP / Getty Images

Marines fill sandbags around their light mortar position on the front lines of the US Marine Corps base in southern Afghanistan on Dec. 1, 2001.

U.s. Navy / Getty Images

Marines with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit deployed from the USS Bataan's Amphibious Ready Group fly in a CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter on Dec. 14, 2001, to an undisclosed location.

Yannis Behrakis / Reuters

Afghan opposition Northern Alliance troops wait in formation at a training camp in the outskirts of Jabal Saraj on Nov. 5, 2001.

Chris Hondros

An Afghan soldier holds a notebook recovered from an al-Qaeda cave that details bomb-making and handling on Dec. 21, 2001, in the Tora Bora area of Afghanistan.


A US Army soldier maneuvers a robot into a cave to detect mines, traps, and other unexploded materials hidden by Taliban or al-Qaeda fugitives in the eastern border town of Qiqay, Afghanistan, on July 29, 2002.

Oleg Nikishin / Getty Images

American soldiers take cover during an explosion during a battle on Nov. 26, 2001, at the fortress near Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan.

Gleb Garanich / Reuters

Northern Alliance soldiers come back from the front line on Oct. 10, 2001.

Oleg Nikishin / Getty Images

A Northern Alliance fighter uses a dead body as a shield during a battle with pro-Taliban forces on Nov. 27, 2001, in a fortress near Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan.

Oleg Nikishin / Getty Images

Northern Alliance soldiers, injured by an airstrike that missed its target, are led away by another soldier on Nov. 26, 2001, at the fortress near Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan.


A suspected al-Qaeda or Taliban detainee from Afghanistan is carried on a stretcher before being interrogated by military officials at the detention facility Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Feb. 2, 2002.

Larry Downing / Reuters

President George W. Bush and Army Gen. Tommy Franks brief members of the press about the progress of the US military operation in Afghanistan while on the Bush family ranch in Crawford, Texas, on Dec. 28, 2001.

Peter Andrews / Reuters

US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld shakes hands with soldiers upon arrival at the Bagram Airfield base north of Kabul, Afghanistan, on April 27, 2002.

Randy Davey / Reuters

A group of women waves flags to welcome home Marines aboard the USS Shreveport on April 18, 2002, in Morehead, North Carolina.

Usaf / Getty Images

A pilot from the 305th Air Mobility Wing at McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, is greeted by his family on Dec. 17, 2001, after returning from deployment in Afghanistan.

Mai / The LIFE Images Collection / Getty

Shannon Spann, carrying her infant son Jake, follows the coffin containing the body of her husband, CIA agent Johnny Michael Spann, who was the first American killed in combat in the war in Afghanistan, during a full honors funeral at Arlington National Cemetery on Dec. 10, 2001.

Yannis Behrakis / Reuters

Afghan villagers sit atop a hill to have a better view of the Northern Alliance

troops in the outskirts of Gulbahar, Afghanistan, on Nov. 4, 2001.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.