Hazaran origins are much debated. Their name comes from a Persian word meaning "thousand". Current theory favours descent from Mongol soldiers left behind by Genghis Khan in the 13th century, with considerable Turkish admixture. Prior to the 19th century, Haraza were 67% of the total population, the largest Afghan ethnic group. More than half were massacred in 1893 when their autonomy was lost as a result of political action. Later fundamentalist governments, including the Taliban, attempted to dismiss them historically, politically and culturally. Estimates today number the Afghan Hazara at around 2.6 million, about 20% of the country's population.