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El Aaiun

spain morocco sahara city

El Aaiun, also Aiun (pop. 25,000), Laayoune, or Ayun, city in Western Sahara (territory in northwest Africa occupied by Morocco), about 10 mi (16 km) from the Atlantic Ocean. It is an important shipping center for phosphates. The area was controlled from the early 1900s by Spain, who founded the city in 1940. El Aaiun was capital of the province of Spanish Sahara until Spain withdrew in 1976, at which time it was incorporated by Morocco.

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