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The People of Afghanistan, Principal Cities

Baghlan, Mazar-e Sharif, Jalalabad, rocket attacks, Kandahar

During and immediately after the Afghan-Soviet War, the populations of the largest cities increased as internally displaced persons sought the anonymity and perceived security of more densely populated areas. The population of Kabul, the capital and largest city, swelled to more than 2 million in the late 1980s. Many people fled from the city during the ensuing civil war, however, when rocket attacks and other combat destroyed much of the city. Only about 700,000 inhabitants remained in Kabul in 1993. Other important cities in Afghanistan are Kandahar, or Qandahar (225,500; 1988 estimate) in the south, which is dominated by Pashtun tribes; Herat (177,300) in the west, with a dominant Tajik population; and Mazar-e Sharif (130,600) in the north, also with a dominant Tajik ethnicity. Other, smaller towns include Jalalabad in the east, with a Pashtun majority; Charikar just north of Kabul, with mixed ethnicity; Andkhvoy and Meymaneh in the north in Uzbek country; and Kondoz, Fey?abad (Faizabad), and Baghlan, also in the north with a dominant Tajik ethnicity. Along with a number of other places, Herat and Kandahar were extensively damaged in both the war with the Soviets and the civil war. Other towns suffered less extensive damage and have been partly rebuilt. Difficulties with water quality and public transportation continue to exist from before the war.

Article key phrases:

Baghlan, Mazar-e Sharif, Jalalabad, rocket attacks, Kandahar, Faizabad, displaced persons, largest cities, mixed ethnicity, Soviets, Herat, important cities, Afghanistan, anonymity, populated areas, combat, largest city, inhabitants, water quality, extensive damage, capital, public transportation, places, north, west, east, south, Difficulties, estimate, people, populations, number


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