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Farah (färäˈ) [key], town (1985 est. pop. 21,000), capital of Farah prov., W Afghanistan, on the Farah River. Surrounded by a solid earth rampart, it is strategically located at the river crossing that controls the road from Herat to the Seistan region and the Indian subcontinent. The town also lies on the Herat-Kandahar trade route and is a market for the products of the surrounding agricultural region. Farah is inhabited mostly by Tajiks. Generally identified with ancient Phrada, it flourished until Mongols destroyed it in 1221. It revived but suffered renewed devastation by the Persian ruler Nadir Shah in 1737. Farah was the scene of fierce fighting during the early days of the Afghanistan War.

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

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