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 AFGHANISTAN
     

Coat of arms


National anthem

   
   


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 General information

Ahmad Shah Durrani unified the Pashtun tribes and founded Afghanistan in 1747. The country served as a buffer between the British and Russian empires until it won independence from notional British control in 1919. A brief experiment in democracy ended in a 1973 coup and a 1978 Communist counter-coup. The Soviet Union invaded in 1979 to support the tottering Afghan Communist regime, touching off a long and destructive war. The USSR withdrew in 1989 under relentless pressure by internationally supported anti-Communist mujahedin rebels. Subsequently, a series of civil wars saw Kabul finally fall in 1996 to the Taliban, a hardline Pakistani-sponsored movement that emerged in 1994 to end the country's civil war and anarchy. Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, a US, Allied, and anti-Taliban Northern Alliance military action toppled the Taliban for sheltering Osama Bin Ladin. The UN-sponsored Bonn Conference in 2001 established a process for political reconstruction that included the adoption of a new constitution and a presidential election in 2004, and National Assembly elections in 2005. On 7 December 2004, Hamid Karzai became the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan. The National Assembly was inaugurated on 19 December 2005

  • 3-Letter abbreviation: AFG
  • 2-Letter abbreviation: AL
  • Country common name: Afghanistan
  • Country official name: Jamhuria Afghanistan
  • Continent: Asia
  • Capital: Kabul
  • Other major cities: Kandahar, Herat, Mazar-i-Sharif, Jalalabad, Kunduz, Baghlan
  • Currency: Afghani
  • Official languages: Pushtu, Dari
  • Motto: "Allah is great. Allah is the only God and Mohammed was his prophet."
 Geographic information
  • Surface area: 647,500  km²
  • Highest point: Nowshak 7,485 m
  • Neighbouring countries: Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, China, Pakistan
  • Neighbouring seas and oceans: None
 Population
  • Population (in millions): 28.72
  • Gross domestic product (GDP) per inhabitant (in US dollars): 700
  • Density (inhabitants per km²): 44.35
  • Average age (in years): 18.9
  • Life expectancy at birth (in years): 46.97
 Telephone & Internet communication
  • Country international telephone code: + 93
  • Internet code: .af
  • Number of Internet users: 30,000 (2005)