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Chittagong (/tʃɪtəɡɒŋ/), officially known as Chattogram,[4] is a major coastal city and financial centre in southeastern Bangladesh. The city has a population of more than 2.5 million[1] while the metropolitan area had a population of 4,009,423 in 2011,[1] making it the second-largest city in the country. It is the capital of an eponymous District and Division. The city is located on the banks of the Karnaphuli River between the Chittagong Hill Tracts and the Bay of Bengal. Chittagong plays a vital role in the Bangladeshi economy. The Port of Chittagong is the principal maritime gateway to the country. The port is the busiest international seaport on the Bay of Bengal and the third busiest in South Asia.[5] The Chittagong Stock Exchange is one of the country's two stock markets. Several Chittagong-based companies are among the largest industrial conglomerates and enterprises in Bangladesh. The port city is the largest base of the Bangladesh Navy and Bangladesh Coast Guard; while the Bangladesh Army and Bangladesh Air Force also maintain bases and contribute to the city's economy. Chittagong is the headquarters of the Eastern Zone of the Bangladesh Railway, having historically been the headquarters of British India's Assam Bengal Railway and East Pakistan's Pakistan Eastern Railway. A controversial ship breaking industry on the outskirts of the city, which supplies local steel but causes pollution, has come under international scrutiny. Chittagong is an ancient seaport due to its natural harbor. It was noted as one of the largest Eastern ports by the Roman geographer Ptolemy in the 1st century. The harbor has been a gateway through southeastern Bengal in the Indian subcontinent for centuries. Arab sailors and traders, who once explored the Bay of Bengal, set up a mercantile station in the harbor during the 9th century.[6] During the 14th century, the port became a "mint town" of the Sultanate of Bengal, with the status of an administrative center. During the 16th century, Portuguese historian João de Barros described Chittagong as "the most famous and wealthy city of the Kingdom of Bengal".[7] Portuguese Chittagong was the first European colonial settlement in Bengal. A naval battle in 1666 between the Mughal Empire and Arakan resulted in the expulsion of Portuguese pirates. British colonization began in 1760 when the Nawab of Bengal ceded Chittagong to the East India Company. During World War II, Chittagong was a base for Allied Forces engaged in the Burma Campaign. The port city began to expand and industrialize during the 1940s, particularly after the Partition of British India. During the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, Chittagong was site of the country's declaration of independence. Chittagong has a high degree of religious and ethnic diversity among Bangladeshi cities, despite having an overwhelming Bengali Muslim majority. Minorities include Bengali Hindus, Bengali Christians, Bengali Buddhists, the Chakmas, the Marmas, the Bohmong, the Rohingyas and Rakhines. Modern Chittagong is Bangladesh's second most significant urban center after Dhaka. In 2018, the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina decided to change the city's name to a version of its Bengali spelling without public consultation, drawing protests and concern

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