The country has had no elected national assembly since 1973, when coups and a Soviet invasion plunged it into decades of chaos that left more than one million people dead. Civil war raged in the early 1990s, followed by the disastrous rule of the Taliban. . . .

The inauguration of the assembly formally concludes the political transition process agreed on by Afghan factions under UN auspices in December 2001, although Afghanistan is still a long way from stability.

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