Kunduz (//; Pashto: کندز; Dari: قندوز original name: کُهَندِژ) is a city in northern Afghanistan, the capital of Kunduz Province. The city has a population of about 374,746, making it about the 6th-largest city of Afghanistan, and the largest city in the northeastern section of the country. Kunduz is in the historical Tokharistan region of Bactria, near the confluence of the Kunduz River with the Khanabad River. Kunduz is linked by highways with Kabul to the south, Mazar-i-Sharif to the west, and Badakhshan to the east. Kunduz is also linked with Dushanbe in Tajikistan to the north, via the Afghan dry port of Sherkhan Bandar.
|First mention||329 BC|
|Elevation||391 m (1,283 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+4:30 (Afghanistan Standard Time)|
The land use of the city (within the municipal boundary) is largely agricultural (65.8% of total area). Residential land comprises nearly half of the 'built-up' land area (48.3%) with 29,877 dwellings. Institutional land comprises 17.9% of built-up land use, given that the airport is within the municipal boundary.
Kunduz is also sometimes spelled (romanized) as Kundûz, Qonduz, Qondûz, Konduz, Kondûz, Kondoz, or Qhunduz. The name of the city is derived from the Persian compound, kohan dež, "old/ancient fort".
Kunduz is the site of the ancient city of Drapsaka. It was a great centre of Buddhist learning and very prosperous during the 3rd century AD.
In the 18th and 19th centuries it was the capital of a rather large eponymous, sometimes independent, sometimes autonomous Uzbek-Tajik khanate that in the 1820s encompassed land from Balkh to the Pamir Mountains. It was part of The Great Game between the British and Russians. This khanate was finally destroyed by Afghanistan in 1859. In the early 20th century, between one-hundred and two-hundred thousand Tajiks and Uzbeks fled the conquest of their homeland by Russian Red Army and settled in northern Afghanistan.
In the early 20th century, under the governance of Sher Khan Nasher, Kunduz became one of the wealthiest Afghan provinces. This was mainly due to Nasher's founding of the Spinzar Cotton Company, which continues to exist in post-war Afghanistan.
Kunduz is the centre for the northeast provinces and was captured by the Taliban in 1997. It was the last major city held by the Taliban before its fall to US-backed Afghan Northern Alliance forces on 26 November 2001.
During the summer of 2015, the Taliban advanced and attacked the city, which resulted in a battle for control of the city against Afghan forces. Tens of thousands of inhabitants were displaced internally by the fighting. On 28 September 2015 the Taliban flag was again raised in the city center and the Taliban managed to capture the city prison and free many prisoners. The Afghan Armed Forces counter-attacked and managed to re-capture the city in 15 days. The Taliban announced that, after achieving their objectives, they have withdrawn from the city's center. Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesperson, said that their main object in leaving the city is to avoid civilian casualties from air raids. In April 2018 the Afghan Air Force conducted an airstrike that killed and injured dozens of civilians at a religious school in Kunduz. On 31 August 2019, the Taliban forces launched another attack on the city, setting off a major battle with local security forces.
On 19 May 2020, the Taliban killed one policeman and one civilian and injured 18 others in a motorbike bomb blast in Kunduz. On the same day, the Taliban attempted again to capture Kunduz, attacking several government posts but were repelled by the Afghan security forces. The Taliban were forced to flee the city, leaving ten dead bodies behind. Eight Afghan soldiers and three civilians were killed and 55 others were wounded during the Taliban attack.
Kunduz has a cold semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk) with hot summers and cool winters. Precipitation is generally low except from January to April, with summers almost always rainless.
|Climate data for Kunduz|
|Record high °C (°F)||21.2
|Average high °C (°F)||6.3
|Daily mean °C (°F)||1.6
|Average low °C (°F)||−2.4
|Record low °C (°F)||−22.7
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||44.0
|Average rainy days||5||6||11||10||9||1||1||0||0||3||5||6||57|
|Average snowy days||5||4||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||2||14|
|Average relative humidity (%)||80||75||75||71||54||31||28||29||32||44||63||76||55|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||114.4||114.6||158.9||201.0||276.5||332.1||340.2||315.5||289.7||221.8||169.3||118.3||2,652.3|
|Source: NOAA (1958-1983) |
The city of Kunduz has a population of about 374,746. Ethnic Pashtuns comprise the largest segment, followed by Uzbeks, Tajiks, Arabs and a few others. Kunduz is the capital of a highly diverse province that includes significant populations of Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Karluks, Hazaras, Arabs, Moghols, Balochis and Turkmens.
Kunduz Arabs speak Persian and Pashto, Afghanistan's two official languages, rather than Arabic. However, they claim a strong Arab identity, based on their tribal origins in Arabia. This may in fact point to the seventh-century and eighth-century migration to this and other Central Asian locales of many Arab tribes from Arabia in the wake of the Islamic conquests of the region.
Kunduz city is divided into 8 Police Districts ('Nahias') with a total land area of 11,206 hectares.
The most influential leader of Kunduz was Arif Khan, who was a governor of Kunduz Province and was shot dead in the city of Peshawar, Pakistan in the year 2000. Soon after the incident his brother Haji Omar Khan took his responsibility and was appointed as the Governor of Kunduz (2000–01).
- Professional sports teams from Kunduz
|Pamir Zalmi||Shpageeza Cricket League||Cricket||Kunduz Cricket Ground||2021|
|Mawjhai Amu F.C.||Afghan Premier League||Football||Kunduz Ground||2012|
- Kunduz Cricket Ground
- Kunduz Ground
- Spinzar Cotton Company founders, Ghulam Sarwar Nashir, Mir Khan Zakhel, and Raees Munawar Khan seen as the founding fathers of the province.
- Gholam Nabi Nasher Khan (1926–2010), parliamentarian
- Sayed Noorullah Murad (Afghan politician, member of federal cabinet, military commander & scholar) Imam Saheb district.
- Javed Ahmadi (1992–), player in the current Afghanistan national cricket team
- Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi is current Afghan National Parliament Speaker.
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- Thomas J. Barfield, The Central Asian Arabs of Afghanistan: Pastoral Nomadism in Transition. 1982.
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