The capital of Afghanistan; population 2,536,300 (est. 2006). It is situated in the northeast of the country, with a strategic position commanding the mountain passes through the Hindu Kush, especially the Khyber Pass. It was capital of the Mogul empire 1504–1738 and in 1773 replaced Kandahar as capital of an independent Afghanistan. It suffered severe damage following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and during the rise and fall of the Taliban regime.