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Open map of United Arab EmiratesAlgeria / Cities and Towns /
Tindouf
Arabic: tindūf





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Tindouf

View of Smara refugee camp at Tindouf, Algeria.
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View of Smara refugee camp at Tindouf, Algeria.

Children playing in the Dakhla refugee camp at Tindouf, Algeria.
One of the few remaining traditional houses at Tindouf, Algeria.

Tindouf, Algeria.
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From the Dakhla refugee camp at Tindouf, Algeria. Photo: Saharauiak.

Town and oasis in western Algeria with 20,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), in the Sahara desert, at an elevation of 433 metres, in Bechar province.
In addition to some agriculture, are there deposits of iron ore 150 km southeast. The military is another important employer, since Tindouf overlooks the border zone to Morocco, Mauritania (and in theory Western Sahara). The presence of UN personell and refugees creates also work for locals.
Tindouf is very isolated but has fair road connections with Bechar 900 km northeast. There is also an airport. The road to Mauritania is often closed, and also in bad condition.
Tindouf retains only little of its traditional desert architecture and city structures. Most houses are modern pre-fabs. The refugee camps are simple brick-houses with interspersed by white tents.
In addition to the figures above, are there thousands of refugees from Western Sahara living in camps south of Tindouf, and named after their main towns: Dakhla, Smara, al-Ayoun (Laayoune). There is also a substantial presence of UN personell.

History
1963 October: Fighting between Moroccan and Algerian troops, see Sand War.
1976: Tindouf becomes the headquarters of the Sahrawi guerilla organization Polisario following the Moroccan and Mauritanian occupation of Spanish Sahara.




By Tore Kjeilen