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Charikar is the main town of the Kohdaman Valley and the capital of Parwan Province in northern Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

. The city lies on the road 69 km from Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

 to the northern provinces. Travelers would have to pass by the city when going to Mazari Sharif, Kunduz
Kunduz also known as Kundûz, Qonduz, Qondûz, Konduz, Kondûz, Kondoz, or Qhunduz is a city in northern Afghanistan, the capital of Kunduz Province. It is linked by highways with Mazari Sharif to the west, Kabul to the south and Tajikistan's border to the north...

 or Puli Khumri. Charikar is at the gateway to the Panjshir Valley
Panjshir Valley
The Panjshir Province is a valley in north-central Afghanistan, 150 km north of Kabul, near the Hindu Kush mountain range. Located in the Panjshir Province it is divided by the Panjshir River...

, where the Shamali plains meet the foothills of the Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
The Hindu Kush is an mountain range that stretches between central Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. The highest point in the Hindu Kush is Tirich Mir in the Chitral region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.It is the westernmost extension of the Pamir Mountains, the Karakoram Range, and is a...

. The city's population is estimated to be from 30,000 to around 130,000, most of whom are Tajiks. Charikar is known for its pottery and high-quality grapes.


Charikar is said to have been founded in ancient times by Jamshid
Jamshid is a mythological figure of Greater Iranian culture and tradition.In tradition and folklore, Jamshid is described as having been the fourth and greatest king of the epigraphically unattested Pishdadian dynasty . This role is already alluded to in Zoroastrian scripture Jamshid (Middle-...

 (King Yama) and later further established by the Kushan
Kushan Empire
The Kushan Empire originally formed in the early 1st century AD under Kujula Kadphises in the territories of ancient Bactria on either side of the middle course of the Oxus in what is now northern Afghanistan, Pakistan, and southern Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.During the 1st and early 2nd centuries...

 King Kanishka
Kanishka ) was an emperor of the Kushan Empire, ruling an empire extending from Bactria to large parts of northern India in the 2nd century of the common era, and famous for his military, political, and spiritual achievements...


At the beginning of the 19th century became a flourishing commercial town of several thousand inhabitants.

Charikar was a major battle scene during the First Anglo-Afghan War
First Anglo-Afghan War
The First Anglo-Afghan War was fought between British India and Afghanistan from 1839 to 1842. It was one of the first major conflicts during the Great Game, the 19th century competition for power and influence in Central Asia between the United Kingdom and Russia, and also marked one of the worst...

 where in 1841 a British garrison was massacred. The province was conquered by the Pashtuns during the period of expansion of the Durrani Empire. During the Soviet invasion
Soviet war in Afghanistan
The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the Afghan Mujahideen and foreign "Arab–Afghan" volunteers...

, the region around Charikar was the scene of some of the fiercest fighting.

On August 14, 2011, a team of about six suicide bombers launched a coordinated assault on the governor's palace in Charikar. Although Governor Abdul Basir Salangi survived the high-profile assassination, 19 other people were killed in the incident. The Afghan Ministry of the Interior said that 14 of the dead were civilian Afghan government employees and five were policemen. The attack began with a car bomb explosion outside the front gate of his palace followed by suicide bombers storming in and blowing themselves up in the compound. Gen. Abdul Jalil Rahimi of the Afghan National Police
Afghan National Police
The Afghan National Police - ANP - is the primary national police force in Afghanistan. It serves as a single law enforcement agency all across the country. The Afghan police force was first created with the establishment of the Afghan nation in the early 18th century...

 said he was at a meeting with Salangi, Afghan Army
Afghan National Army
The Afghan National Army is a service branch of the military of Afghanistan, which is currently trained by the coalition forces to ultimately take the role in land-based military operations in Afghanistan. , the Afghan National Army is divided into seven regional Corps. The strength of the Afghan...

 and police officials, and at least two NATO police advisers, when the assault began. He further said that "two of the bombers were able to get into the building of the governor's house", but were killed before they could reach their main targets. As usual, the Taliban claimed responsibility.