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Tunis (pop. 596,700), capital city of Tunisia, on the Lake of Tunis, in northeastern Tunisia. Probably established before Carthaginian times, the city was part of the ancient Carthaginian empire until Carthage was destroyed by the Romans in 146 B.C. Later rebuilt, Tunis became a major trading port that was captured by the Moslems in the 7th century. It was established as the country's capital by the Hafsid dynasty (13th–16th centuries) and was under Turkish rule from 1534 to 1881, when it became a center for piracy as well as trade. The French occupation of Tunisia lasted 1881–1956, after which time the country gained its independence. Today it thrives as a major port and is active in the manufacture of olive oil, textiles, and carpets. Since 1979 it has been the headquarters for the Arab League.

See also: Tunisia.

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