City on the Kabul River, situated at an elevation of about 1800 m (about 5900 ft).
Afganistan's chief economic and cultural center.
Manufactures of the city include textiles, processed food, chemicals, and wood products.
An ancient community, Kabul rose to prominence in 1504, when it was made the capital of the Mughal Empire by the conqueror Babur. Delhi replaced it as the imperial capital in 1526, but Kabul remained an important Mughal center until it was captured, in 1738, by the Persian ruler Nadir Shah.
In 1747 Kabul became part of an independent Afghan state, and in the 1770s it replaced Kandahar as the capital of Afghanistan.
Kabul has long been of strategic importance because of its proximity to the Khyber Pass, an important pass in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Kabul was occupied twice (1839-1842 and 1879-1880) by British troops 19th century when it was a focus of British, Persian, and Russian rivalry for control of the Khyber Pass.
The city grew as an industrial center after 1940. Population (1988 estimate) 1,424,400.
Kabul was occupied by troops of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1979. Early 1989 the USSR withdrew from Afghanistan.
As part of the ensuing civil war in Afghanistan, Kabul came under siege in 1992 by various Mujaheddin (guerilla) factions.
In January 1994 fighting erupted in Kabul between forces loyal to the president of Afghanistan, Burhanuddin Rabbani, and those loyal to Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
Particularly destructive to Kabul since 1994 has been the offensive campaign by the Taliban (student).
After 9/11 (in 2001) Afganistan was invaded by Allied Armies. In 2007 foreign forces were still present in Afganistan.
Major cities near Kabul :