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Safaqis (säfäˈkĭs) [key] or Sfax sfäks, city (1994 pop. 230,900), E Tunisia, on the Gulf of Qabis (Gabès), an arm of the Mediterranean Sea. It is Tunisia's second largest city and has exports of phosphates, olive oil, cereals, and sponges. A major fishing port, there are oil fields nearby. Safaqis was the site of Phoenician and Roman colonies. It was briefly held by Roger II of Sicily (c.1150) and by the Spanish (16th cent.). Later it became a stronghold of the Barbary pirates.

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

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