Kassala (Arabic: كسلا, ['kasala]; Italian: Cassala) is the capital of the state of Kassala in eastern Sudan. Its 2008 population was recorded to be 419,030. Built on the banks of the Gash River, it is a market town and is famous for its fruit gardens. Many of its inhabitants are from the Hadendoa group, with others being of Rashaida origin. It was formerly a railroad hub, however, as of 2006 there was no operational railway station in Kassala and much of the track leading to and from the town has been salvaged or fallen into disrepair. Kassala's location along the main Khartoum-Port Sudan highway makes it an important trade center.