Khyber Pass


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Khyber Pass

(kī`bər), narrow, steep-sided pass, 28 mi (45 km) long, winding through the Safed Koh Mts., on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border; highest point is 3,500 ft (1,067 m). The routes through it link the cities of Peshawar, Pakistan, and Kabul, Afghanistan. For centuries a trade and invasion route from central Asia, the Khyber Pass was one of the principal approaches of the armies of Alexander the GreatAlexander the Great
or Alexander III,
356–323 B.C., king of Macedon, conqueror of much of Asia. Youth and Kingship

The son of Philip II of Macedon and Olympias, he had Aristotle as his tutor and was given a classical education.
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, TimurTimur
or Tamerlane
, c.1336–1405, Mongol conqueror, b. Kesh, near Samarkand. He is also called Timur Leng [Timur the lame]. He was the son of a tribal leader, and he claimed (apparently for the first time in 1370) to be a descendant of Jenghiz Khan.
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, BaburBabur
[Turk.,=lion], 1483–1530, founder of the Mughal empire of India. His full name was Zahir ud-Din Muhammad. A descendant of Timur (Tamerlane) and of Jenghiz Khan, he succeeded (1494) to the principality of Fergana in central Asia.
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, Mahmud of GhaznaMahmud of Ghazna
, 971?–1030, Afghan emperor and conqueror. He defeated (c.999) his elder brother to gain control of Khorasan (in Iran) and of Afghanistan. In his raids against the states of N India, Mahmud, a staunch Muslim, destroyed Hindu temples, forced conversions to
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, and Nadir ShahNadir Shah
or Nader Shah
, 1688–1747, shah of Iran (1736–47), sometimes considered the last of the great Asian conquerors. He was a member of the Afshar tribe.
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 in their invasions of India. The pass was also important in the Afghan Wars fought by the British in the 19th cent. The Khyber Pass is now traversed by an asphalt road and an old caravan route. A railroad (built 1920–25), which passes through 34 tunnels and over 92 bridges and culverts, runs to the Afghan border. Pakistan controls the entire pass.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Khyber Pass

 

(also Khaibar), a mountain pass in the range Safed Koh; located near the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Khyber Pass measures 53 km in length and between 15 and 130 m in width. The main crossing is located at an elevation of 1,030 m. A railroad has been built from the Pakistani side up to the Afghan border. The Peshawar-Kabul highway traverses the pass.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Khyber Pass

a narrow pass over the Safed Koh Range between Afghanistan and Pakistan, over which came the Persian, Greek, Tatar, Mogul, and Afghan invasions of India; scene of bitter fighting between the British and Afghans (1838--42, 1878--80). Length: about 53 km (33 miles). Highest point: 1072 m (3518 ft.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
For centuries the mountainous Khyber Pass was a vital part of the Silk Road, a pathway for trade and migration that also saw Alexander the Great's army march through.
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After the standoff turned into an enormous international incident, the US had apologised for the helicopter attack after a NATO investigation found that the "tragic event could have been avoided with better coalition force co-ordination with the Pakistan military." The Pakistan government had subsequently reopened the blocked Khyber Pass route after declaring a diplomatic and political victory following the US and NATO apologies.
Militants in Pakistan sporadically attack cargo terminals in remote areas along the Khyber Pass, but Tuesday's attack appears to be the first of its kind in or around the nation's capital.
Travelling in an unreliable little Fiat, Bouvier and Thierry Vernet made their way across the Balkans, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, ending their journey at the Khyber Pass. The author's account avoids the cliches of travel writing, giving readers an insightful and fascinating look into a part of the world where Western travelers were not yet common.
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Supplies along the Khyber Pass have regularly come under attack, forcing the US to find alternative supply routes.
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The main supply corridor has been through Pakistan, but lately insurgents have taken to attacking supply convoys headed toward the Khyber Pass. An alternative is to land supplies at ports in southern Iran and truck them north to Afghanistan.