Khartoum, Sudan, the national capital. It is at the junction of the Blue Nile and White Nile rivers, near the southern edge of the Sahara. With the adjacent cities of Omdurman and Khartoum North, Khartoum makes up Sudan's largest urban center. The three-city area is also the nation's chief manufacturing and commercial center. Khartoum has an international airport and is served by rail.
Khartoum was founded as an army camp in the early 1820's by a conquering Egyptian army and grew rapidly as a trade center and slave market. The British general Charles Gordon was killed there in 1885 while the city was under siege by Sudanese followers of a religious leader called the Mahdi. The city was won back from the Mahdi forces in 1898 by General Herbert Kitchener. .) Khartoum became the capital of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan in 1899 and remained the country's capital after it gained independence in 1956. In August 1998 a chemical factory in Khartoum with alleged ties to an international terrorist was bombed by the United States.