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A city in southwestern Saudi Arabia, situated on a plain at the western edge of Mount al-Hijaz, surrounded by hills. The valley of the Wadi Abha near the city is filled with gardens, fields, and streams. The city consists of four quarters, the largest of which contains an old fortress. Abha was freed from Ottoman rule following World War I and brought under the control of the Wahhabis, a Muslim puritanical group, in 1920 by 'Abd al-'Aziz ibn Sa'ud. It is characterized by forts built on top of the neighbouring hills. Abha lies 50 miles (80 km) east of the Red Sea and 528 miles (850 km) southwest of Riyadh, the national capital. A coastal road, completed in 1979, connects Jidda with Abha. Pop. (1974) 30,150.



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