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Bab el Mandeb

Bab el Mandeb (băb ĕl mănˈdĕb) [key] [Arab., = gate of tears], strait, 17 mi (27 km) wide, linking the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden and separating the Arabian peninsula from E Africa. It is an important passage on the Indian Ocean–Mediterranean Sea shipping route via the Suez Canal. Control of the strategically located strait was long contested by Britain and France. The island of Perim is in the strait.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: Middle Eastern and Iranian Physical Geography