|Afghanistan (æfˈɡænɪˌstɑːn, -ˌstæn)|
|a republic in central Asia: became independent in 1919; occupied by Soviet troops, 1979--89; controlled by mujaheddin forces from 1992 until 1996 when Taliban forces seized power; in the US-led `war on terror' (2001) the Taliban were overthrown and replaced by an interim administration, although the Taliban insurgency continues; generally arid and mountainous, with the Hindu Kush range rising over 7500 m (25 000 ft) and fertile valleys of the Amu Darya, Helmand, and Kabul Rivers. Official languages: Pashto and Dari (Persian), Tajik also widely spoken. Religion: Muslim. Currency: afghani. Capital: Kabul. Pop: 24 926 000 (2004 est). Area: 657 500 sq km (250 000 sq miles)|
|Kabul or Kabol (kəˈbʊl, ˈkɑːbəl)|
|1.||the capital of Afghanistan, in the northeast of the country at an altitude of 1800 m (5900 ft) on the Kabul River: over 3000 years old, with a strategic position commanding passes through the Hindu Kush and main routes to the Khyber Pass; destroyed and rebuilt many times; capital of the Mogul Empire from 1504 until 1738 and of Afghanistan from 1773; university (1932). Pop: 3 288 000 (2005 est)|
|2.||a river in Afghanistan and Pakistan, rising in the Hindu Kush and flowing east into the Indus at Attock, Pakistan. Length: 700 km (435 miles)|
|Kabol or Kabol|
Republic in south-central Asia, bordered by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north, China to the northeast, Pakistan to the east and south, and Iran to the west. Kabul is its capital and largest city.
Note: The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 but met stiff resistance from Muslim rebels, called mujahideen, who received support from the United States. The Soviets agreed to withdraw in 1986 and completed their withdrawal in 1989.
Note: In 1992, various rebel groups entered Kabul and took over the government; however, they soon fell to warring. Between 1994 and 1995, Islamic students, called the Taliban, seized Kabul and imposed both order and strict and repressive Islamic law. By 1998, the Taliban controlled ninety percent of the country. The most serious resistance to the Taliban came from the Northern Alliance, a body dominated by ethnic Tajiks and Uzbeks. In October 2001, the United States launched attacks on the Taliban in response to the Taliban's refusal to expel Osama bin Laden and his terrorist Al Qaeda network.
Note: Afghanistan is a poor nation with a history of warfare among its rival ethnic groups and of fierce resistance to outsiders.
Capital of Afghanistan and largest city in the country, located in eastern Afghanistan.
Note: Strategically situated in a high, narrow valley wedged between two mountain ranges, it is near the main approaches to the Khyber Pass, an old trade and invasion route.