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Afghanistan, Land and Resources

Afghanistan is shaped roughly like a clenched fist with the thumb of the Wakhan Corridor extended out to the northeast. Afghanistan covers an area of 652,225 sq km (251,825 sq mi). Its maximum length from east to west is about 1,240 km (about 770 mi); from north to south it is about 1,015 km (about 630 mi). The northwestern, western, and southern border areas are primarily desert plains and rocky ranges, whereas the southeast and northeast borders rise progressively higher into the major, glacier-covered peaks of the Hindu Kush, an extension of the western Himalayas. The northern border is formed by the Amu Darya river and its tributary, the Panj.

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