Kabul (Pashto: کابل / Persian: کابل) also spelled Kabol, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan. According to a 2012 estimate, the population of the city was around 3,289,000, which includes Tajiks, Pashtuns, Hazaras and smaller numbers of Afghans belonging to other ethnic groups. It is the 64th largest and the 5th fastest growing city in the world.
Kabul is over 3,500 years old and many empires have controlled the city which is at a strategic location along the trade routes of South and Central Asia. It has been ruled by the Achaemenids, Seleucids, Mauryans, Kushans, Kabul Shahis, Saffarids, Ghaznavids, and Ghurids. Later it was controlled by the Mughal Empire until finally becoming part of the Durrani Empire with help from the Afsharid dynasty.
During the Soviet war in Afghanistan the city continued to be an economic center and was relatively safe. Between 1992 and 1996, a civil war between militant groups devastated Kabul and caused the deaths of thousands of civilians, serious damage to infrastructure, and an exodus of refugees. Since the Taliban's fall from power in November 2001, the Afghan government and other countries have attempted to rebuild the city, although the Taliban insurgents have slowed the re-construction efforts and staged major attacks against the government, the NATO-led forces, foreign diplomats and Afghan civilians.