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city, east-central Algeria. It is situated on the western edge of a sabkha (large, enclosed basin) in the Sahara. One of the oldest settlements in the Sahara was made by the Ibadiyah, a Muslim heretical sect, at nearby Sedrata in the 10th century (ruins remain). In the 11th century they were attacked by Sunnite Muslims and fled to Ghardaia, 118 miles (190 km) west-northwest. The Wargla site was then settled by Berber (Amazigh) and black African peoples. The town remained autonomous except for a brief period of Turkish control in the 16th century. The French gained possession in 1872, and the present city was built around Fort Lutaud to the south after 1928.