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Ouargla, Algeria

Ouargla, Algeria

City in east-central Algeria with 140,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), situated in the Sahara to the west of salt water basins.
It is the capital of Ouargla province with 500,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate) and an area of 211,980 km².
The main economic activities of Ouargla are connected with the oil and natural gas production at Hassi Messaoud and to the south of the city. Among Ouargla's own activities are trade in livestock and the production of woolen carpets and basketry.
Ouargla has road connections with other urban centres, and an has an airport and a larger airport is located at Hassi Messaoud. Gharda´a is 180 km west and Touggourt 165 km northeast.
Ouargla is mainly a modern city, but with some old quarters. These are dominated by a large mosque, a wall with six gates and an arcaded marketplace. Around the city are date palm groves and fruit and vegetable gardens which are irrigated by numerous wells fed by the underground Wadi Mya.

10th century: Founded by Ibadi Muslims and named Sedrata.
1012: Attacked by Sunni Muslims, and the inhabitants flees to M'Zab, where they found a new community. Berbers and black Africans move into town.
16th century: Comes under Ottoman control, but is liberated not long after.
1872: Conquered by the French.
1928: A new town is constructed, located around Fort Lutaud.

By Tore Kjeilen