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A map of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is a mountainous landlocked country at the crossroads of Central and South Asia, with Kabul serving as its capital. Located along the former Silk Road, Afghanistan has had a diverse history marked by the invasions of Alexander the Great, the Indian Maurya Empire, the Muslim Arabs, the Mongols, the British, the Soviets, and the Americans and their NATO allies, acquiring a reputation as an "unconquerable" country and as the "graveyard of empires". Major Afghan kingdoms and empires have included Bactria, the Kushan Empire, the White Huns, the Samanids, the Saffarids, the Ghaznavids, the Ghorids, the Khaljis, the Mughals, the Hotaks, and the Durranis. In 1893, the British Empire created the Durand Line as the border of Afghanistan and British India, and, in 1919 - following the Third Anglo-Afghan War - Afghanistan freed itself from foreign influence. In 1973, the Kingdom of Afghanistan was overthrown in a republican coup, but the republican regime was itself overthrown in the communist Saur Revolution in 1978. The Soviet-backed communist regime was forced to fight against an insurgency by the traditionalist Mujahideen and their foreign jihadist allies in the Soviet-Afghan War, destabilizing the country for decades to come; after the Soviet withdrawal, the communist regime fell apart, but the ensuing power vacuum gave way to the Afghan Civil War. In 1996, the Islamist Taliban movement seized power in Kabul with help from Pakistan, but their Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan government proved unable to win over the non-Pashtun north, leading to continued conflict. In addition, the Taliban's refusal to hand over Osama bin Laden and other wanted al-Qaeda terrorists to the United States in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks of 11 September 2001 led to the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, the creation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and the Afghanistan War. The twenty-year-long war between the NATO-backed Afghan government and the Taliban insurgency ended on 15 August 2021 when, following the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban recaptured Kabul and re-established the Islamic Emirate.

In 2015, the population was over 32,000,000 people, with 42% being Pashtuns, 27% Tajiks, 8% Hazaras, 9% Uzbeks, 4% Aimaqs, 3% Turkmen, 2% Balochs, and 4% others (Nuristanis, Pamiris, Arabs, etc.). 50% spoke Dari (Persian), 35% Pashto, 11% Uzbek and Turkmen, and 4% 30 other languages (including Arabic). 90% are Sunni Muslim, 9% Shia Muslim, and 1% other, including Zoroastrian and Zunist (Christianity, Judaism, and atheism are almost nonexistent).

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