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Asia, Tajikistan

Tajikistan, landlocked republic in southeastern Central Asia, bordered on the north by Kyrgyzstan, on the north and west by Uzbekistan, on the east by China, and on the south by Afghanistan. Dushanbe is the country's capital and largest city. Tajikistan contains the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province (Badakhshoni Kuhi), an ethnically based political subunit that occupies about 45 percent of the country's territory.

In Tajik, the official state language, the country is called Jumhurii Tojikiston (Republic of Tajikistan). Tajiks, who speak a form of Persian, constitute a majority of the country's population. In 1929 Tajikistan became the Tajik (or Tadzhik) Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Tajikistan became independent in 1991. Shortly after independence, a civil war broke out between the Communist-dominated government and opposition groups. The two sides formally signed a peace accord in June 1997.

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