Geography of Afghanistan

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]] || Central Asia

Afghanistan is a landlocked nation in south-central Asia. Strategically located at the crossroads of major north-south and east-west trade routes, it has attracted a succession of invaders including Alexander the Great, in the fourth century B.C. Currently, the United States continues the global war on terrorism there.

Kabul, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan, located in the Kabul Province. According to the 2008 official estimates, the population of Kabul metropolitan area is 2.8 million people.

The Hindu Kush mountains, running northeast to southwest across the country, divide it into three major regions: 1) the Central Highlands, which form part of the Himalayan Mountains and account for roughly two thirds of the country’s area; 2) the Southwestern Plateau, which accounts for one-fourth of the land; and 3) the smaller Northern Plains area, which contains the country’s most fertile soil. Land elevations generally slope from northeast to southwest, following the general shape of the Hindu Kush massif, from its highest point in the Pamir Mountains near the Chinese border to the lower elevations near the border with Iran. To the north, west, and southwest there are no mountain barriers to neighboring countries. The northern plains pass almost imperceptibly into the plains of Turkmenistan. In the west and southwest, the plateaus and deserts merge into those of Iran.Afghanistan is located on the Eurasian Tectonic Plate. The Wakhan Corridor and the rest of northeastern Afghanistan, including Kabul, are situated in a geologically active area. Over a dozen earthquakes occurred there during the twentieth century.


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