A country consisting of a group of islands in the Indian Ocean north of Madagascar; population 752,400 (est. 2009); languages, French (official), Arabic (official), Comoran Swahili; capital, Moroni. The islands were first visited by the English at the end of the 16th century. At that time and for long afterwards Arab influence was dominant. In the mid 19th century they came under French protection, until in 1974 all but one of the four major islands voted for independence.
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