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Mazar-e Sharif

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Blue Mosque in Mazar-e-Sharif

Mazār-e Sharīf, also known as Mazar-e-Sharif, Mazar-i Sharif and Mazar-i-Sharif (in Persian مزار شریف), is a city in northern Afghanistan and the capital of Balkh province. The dominant language in the city is Dari. The city is of especial religious significance to local Shi'ite Muslims, who believe that Ali, the fourth caliph is buried there.

After the Taliban took control of much of Afghanistan, Mazar-e Sharif remained a stronghold of opposition groups for several years. Between May and July 1997 the Taliban attempted to take control of the city, but failed. They succeeded in capturing the city on August 8, 1998, reportedly leading to a killing frenzy.

On November 9, 2001 the city was recaptured by the Northern Alliance after heavy battles with help from the United States.

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Map of Afghanistan
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